The Name of Red Excerpt + Book Giveaway!



A LITERARY FICTION, CONTEMPORARY DEBUT 

FOR FANS OF SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, FORTY RULES OF LOVE, AND A WALK TO REMEMBER.

Two strangers on the same path.
Survivors. Companions.
They will be each other’s salvation.


The restaurant Ferdaus was filled with a buzzing crowd. The smoke around the people twisted and formed curls, illuminated under the bar lights. The atmosphere was a hazy cloud, lingering against their clothes. Several people came in seeking shelter from the pouring rain outside. The customers of the restaurant turned to look at the entrance door bell jingling. They glanced at the large crowd coming as the glass door was pulled open, and they watched as someone new stepped in behind them.
The woman walked into the bar for the first time in the winter rain.
She didn’t have an umbrella on her, her little sleeveless dress ended at her ankles, fully drenched. Her wet dress clinged to her body, showcasing the outlines of her curves. In one hand, she was carrying the skirt of her dress. Suddenly, she let go of her dress, and her long, bare arms moved upwards as she tried to fix her damp hair which had darkened in color due to the rain. The men watched her movements hungrily, their eager faces drawn to her and at the sight of someone new. Their eyes trailed from her face, to her wet body, then back to the movements of her hands entwined in her hair. The men were unsure of the shade of her wet hair. It appeared dark brown, but almost looked black under the restaurant's lights. It fell past her shoulders, the strands sticking to her face. She attempted to comb through the tangles with her fingertips. Under her arm, she carried a book and a trench coat. It appeared strange she wasn't wearing the coat when it was pouring outside and freezing.
Men were left mesmerized by her, and she turned heads as she walked by. Something radiated from within her, drawing the men around her in. The women who were with some of these men noticed their gaze on the unfamiliar woman. Now, the women stared at her with jealousy and anger. 
Who is she? they wondered. 
The woman in red held her head high and waltzed in an effortless manner of someone a decade older. She walked into the bar with an uncommonly confident stride, ignoring all the patrons' stares. Seemingly oblivious to the rest of the world, she took a seat on one of the bar stools. She was tall, maybe five-foot-seven. Her white heels added to her height, their clicking in sync with the loud music playing in the room. Her red dress was dripping with the rain water as it made small puddles below her. People near her noticed a long, deep scar starting on her left shoulder that went downward hidden behind the soaked fabric of her dress.
The men watched with fascination as she opened a book and bowed her head in it. It looked like she was avoiding the crowd, and she appeared to want to blend in. Though, it was impossible since she’d already caught the attention of her audience by simply standing out in her red dress. She ordered a vodka on the rocks from the bartender who glanced at her with curiosity. He didn't appear to recognize her since she wasn’t a local. It was as if she didn’t have a care in the world, and she just wanted to live in blissful peace alone with her booze.



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My debut novel: The Name of Red Released + Giveaway!


THE NAME OF RED 

RELEASED ON MAY 15 2020

 EBOOK RELEASE SALE FOR $0.99! 

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Nobles | Smashwords

A LITERARY FICTION, contemporary DEBUT 

for fans of sense and sensibility, forty rules of love, and a walk to remember.

Two strangers on the same path.
Survivors. Companions.
They will be each other’s salvation.


On a rainy, winter night, a mysterious woman in a red dress seeking shelter comes inside the restaurant Kabir was busy working in —primarily the bar— and night after night, drink after drink, she comes back to the same spot. That is where he sees her for the first time.

Hundreds of patrons around her try to speak with her daily, but she dismisses them. It appears she wants to remain in a blissful peace alone with her booze and books. After seeing the mysterious woman reading a book, and because of his shy nature, Kabir gains entrance into her life by anonymously leaving books with notes for her.

The Name of Red is the story of two strangers, two different personalities who meet on a winter, rainy night who challenge each other. They have a connection which blossoms into a friendship due to their fondness of books. But they both have secrets that can bind them together or threaten their newfound relationship forever.

I'M OFFICIALLY A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!

I released my debut literary fiction, contemporary novel on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. It's available in ebook format mobi, epub, and Amazon paperback (BN paperback isn't out yet).  It would be very supportive of you guys to click on one of the links above to purchase since it's my first debut. It's on ebook sale for $0.99. Don't forget to scroll up and purchase!

This book has South Asian and middle eastern characters. It revolves around literary fiction, contemporary, friendship, relationships, addiction, multicultural romance, feminism, and cultural diversity.

My book is going to be on tour soon through June-August with Xpresso Tours, Lola book tour, Goddess Fish book tour and Rockstar Book tours :) (Yes, it's alot!)


Cover designer: Les German
Book Trailer: Xpresso videos





Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Name of Red by Beena Khan

The Name of Red

by Beena Khan

100 KINDLE COPIES!! Giveaway ends June 12, 2020.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter

Summer Reading List


NEW RELEASES AND UPCOMING RELEASES I'M EXCITED ABOUT.

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If I Had Your Face is one new release that I'm really excited about. It popped up on my Goodreads account and the cover is so stunning. It reminds me of Memoirs Of A Geisha. Then, I saw the title, and yes, I'm definitely reading this. 
Kim Jiyoung Born 1982 looks like a beautiful, inspiring, feminist read as well. It has similar vibes to The Vegetarian.
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Once in a while, I like to pick up psychological thrillers. This one, The Bride sounds so promising. A missing bride. The cover is beautiful as well.

 My Dark Vanessa is one book that is one everyone's TBR list. It's about an adult recalling an "affair" with her teacher as a teenger. It was abuse, but her mature, adult mind is still stuck in her teenager mind who thought that it was romance and it was different. I actually pre-ordered my copy, but apparently, it was lost. I was refunded, fortunately, and I ordered another copy. This is literary fiction and I love character driven books!

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Little Secrets, a story about a mother whose child is abducted. These kind of concepts always hit a home run since they're so sensitive, any mother or father could relate to this. Gone Girl Viral, a bodyguard romance sounds so cute. I love finding contemporary chick literature like this. I purchased it and I'm waiting for my copy to come.

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Aaah... The Henna Wars. It's about two rival teen girls with the henna business who fall in love, one South Asian and one Brazilian. I like that it raises awareness of the LGBT community in South Asian culture. Sin Eater, I'm always fascinated with this sin eating tast concept, eating the sins and fruits of others before their death. I have an ebook ARC of this that I have yet to read! 

For new releases, many times I download them on my kindle right away, but for some if I really like the sample or concept, I wait for the paperback version to come out. I don't typically purchase hardcover books unless I REALLY WANT the book. Hardcovers are more expensive, bigger, and take more space in my bag and my bookshelf.

what upcoming releases are you guys excited for?

My Debut Novel: The Name of Red: Cover Teaser


THE NAME OF RED
COMING SOON 
MAY 15 2020


Two strangers on the same path.
Survivors. Companions.
They will be each other’s salvation.


On a rainy, winter night, a mysterious woman in a red dress seeking shelter comes inside the restaurant Kabir was busy working in —primarily the bar— and night after night, drink after drink, she comes back to the same spot. That is where he sees her for the first time.

Hundreds of patrons around her try to speak with her daily, but she dismisses them. It appears she wants to remain in a blissful peace alone with her booze and books. After seeing the mysterious woman reading a book, and because of his shy nature, Kabir gains entrance into her life by anonymously leaving books with notes for her.

The Name of Red is the story of two strangers, two different personalities who meet on a winter, rainy night who challenge each other. They have a connection which blossoms into a friendship due to their fondness of books. But they both have secrets that can bind them together or threaten their newfound relationship forever.

Happy Ramadan everyone. 
I have exciting news!! 

My Literary Fiction novel with a sub-plot of Romance is debuting on Amazon next month. This is not the book cover of the novel but a cover teaser only. 

Cover teaser designer: Maduranga at Mns Studio


**Please follow my social media links and newsletter for more updates, cover releases, excerpts, writing tips, and more exclusive content!



My Bookshelf Tour.

I'm a neat freak, I really am. I'm the type of person who carries a special case for their pencils and pens. My apartment is super clean as well, and I don't like my things to get dirty or disorganized. I don't like it when people touch my things.. and my hair. I try really hard to clean my belongings, and if someone is careless and gets them dirty, it enrages me. If there is a fingerprint on a new book, I get paranoid and I wipe the book clean. My family thinks I'm a freak, but wouldn't you clean your phone's screen too? 


HOW DO YOU organize YOUR BOOKS?

I try to be creative, and I have many different ways of organizing my books. 
  • Height Size
  • Genre
  • Texture/ Hardcover or paperback grouping
  • Same author books grouping
  • Favorites shelf
  • TBR books shelf
  • Series grouping
  • ARC/Finished copies shelves
  • Double row in each shelf with books I like the most in the front
  • Stacking books on top of each other
I don't classify by author's last name, I don't really like that, it's a bit boring, and I can't change my order now because I remember where I shelved each book. I have this weird habit of not letting my old books touch my new copies. You know, when you buy a new book, you wouldn't want it to be around anything old. I love my old books too especially how they smell and crease overtime. 

I typically classify books by book size, genre, favorites, and ARC's. I have two shelves for my cross cultural books, one shelf for fantasy books, two shelves for my favorites and others. I have three bookshelves in total. The modern bookshelf in the front is my personal favorite (the picture below) and that's my TBR list. Those are the books I want to read next. 


how many books do you have?

I had a book collection since 15 years now. I started reading chapter books full time at the age of 11.  I'm not sure how many books I actually own, I haven't ever really counted individually because I do giveaway some old copies once in a while. I think I own around 500 books approximately when counting the shelves.


WHERE Do YOU GET YOUR BOOKS FROM? 

Most of my book are personal purchases. Many are from Barnes & Nobles, Amazon, Book depository, and Thriftbooks. I love the app/store Thriftbooks, you can guy used books on there for such a cheap price. They have books less for $4 on ThriftBooks, if you buy a bundle, you get free shipping. There is also a rewards program on there where you can get a FREE book A lot of my books are also review copies (finished copies and Advanced Reader Copies) and some books are gifts.

how do you guys organize your bookshelf?

I also added wallpapers on the back of the bookshelves too. I like my bookshelves modern with a white finish.

This is my current bookshelf & upgrade. 



This was my previous bookshelf from one and a half year ago.


Book shelf Inspiration that I love
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Add a little creativity to your home with one of these creative bookshelf designs! Why should bookshelves be bland and boring when books offer so much value and entertainment? Who knows, maybe having a cool-looking bookshelf in your home other people in your family might want to read more!  #CreativeBookshelf #BookshelfIdeas

Home Library Inspiration - Built-in Bookcases With Creative Designs


Queenie | Review

Queenie
By Candice Carty-Williams

Published: March 19 2019
Publisher: Orion Publishing
Genre: Literary Fiction, Women's Fiction
Source: Personal Purchase
Add to Goodreads

Rating: 4 stars
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Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world.

The Review
Queenie is a novel about a funny and loving character who sometimes makes bad life choices. This is a book that is bold, hilarious, and gives feminist vibes. Queenie, yes that's her real name is a very complex and flawed character. Her behavior can throw readers of guard sometimes, but it shows that she is relatable and she makes mistakes. At times, I was frustrated with her behavior too. This novel is Queenie's journey from female friendships, her work life, sexual harassment, depression, and online dating. The book goes from past to present and we are shown flashbacks. The very first chapter of the book is intriguing, I was hooked from the very beginning.

I also liked how "casual racism" is explored in the novel. Queenie's former boyfriend Tom doesn't defend Queenie. Tom is white, and Queenie is black. They used to be an interracial couple, and in the past, Tom didn't defend Queenie against his family who casually joke about black people. For example, casual racism can be, "Black people always like fried chicken." It might seem like a harmless thing to say, but it is offensive. It was fascinating to read about Queenie's experiences as a black minority. The book tackles sensitive issues and makes people think. It tackles also on the topic how black people's skin color is used as a fetish and it's considered "exotic" as if they're a zoo animal. The book also celebrates female friendships which is always a hit. This is more of a narrative, literary fiction than plot driven book which I personally liked. 

“I wished that well-meaning white liberals would think before they said things that they thought were perfectly innocent.” 

“Is this what growing into an adult woman is—having to predict and accordingly arrange for the avoidance of sexual harassment?”

Recommended for fans of Bridget Jones Diary and Americanah.


Candice Carty-Williams
Candice Carty-Williams is a writer and author of the Sunday Times bestselling QueenieQueenie has been described as 'vital','disarmingly honest', and 'boldly political', and has been shortlisted for the Waterstones, Foyles and Goodreads Book of 2019, as well as selected as the Blackwell’s Debut of the Year. In 2016, Candice created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize, the first inclusive initiative of its kind in book publishing. Candice has written for Guardian, i-D, Vogue International, every iteration of the Sunday Times, BEAT Magazine, Black Ballad and more. 

Updates From Beena
1) I finished my Masters Degree of Developmental Psychology last semester, and I'm waiting on my degree to finally come so I can plaster it on my living room wall.
2) I'm actually publishing a my debut literary fiction novel this upcoming mid-May. I'm in the process of beta reading and revising, then I can submit it to an editor. #exciting. I began writing it in February, and I am close to finishing it.
302267233) Covid: I'm still working, my hours are less than before. I work three out of five days now. I'm considered an essential care worker, I'm part of a multi-medical clinic that needs to stay open. I actually recently closed the outside entrance I'm constantly wearing a mask, gloves, and maintaining a six feet distance at all times. When I'm home, I always wear gloves and mask, even to bed. I quarantine from my family as well. I'm actually from New York so it's best if I do, because we have the highest death toll in all of America. It actually upsets me when I see people outside walking their pets. What part of quarantine and lockdown do you not understand??
4) I'm reading King's Cage lately by Victoria Aveyard . I'm behind on the series, I'm not the biggest fan of it, but the writing is addicting so I have to finish the series. I used to read a book everyday before, I still try to read atleast two books per week, but it's harder because I'm focusing  on writing my novel. I write atleast ten hours per day now.


Here are some good Amazon Freebies I found :) Check them out. The picture takes you to the link.



Ayesha at Last | Review Pride & Prejudice Retelling.

43124133Ayesha at Last

Published: June 4th 2019 
Publisher: Berkley Books
Purchase:Amazon|Barnes&Nobles|Book Despoistory
Genre: Romance
Source: Personal Purchase
Add to Goodreads

Rating: 4.5 stars.

A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love. Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn't want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and who dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.


Ayesha is a Muslim woman who also happens modern. Her best friend is a non-Muslim who has a live in boyfriend. She's a teacher, and her cousin Hafsa has been getting hundreds of proposals. Khalid the male protagonist recently has moved to the neighborhood. He is religious, he wears a thobe and has a religious beard. His appearance is religious, and some people believe him to be a fundamentalist. 

The beginning scene of the novel had me hooked when Khalid secretly tries to steal glances at Ayesha in a purple hijab. Ayesha is spiritual and devoted and so is Khalid, but Khalid is also traditional but their mindsets clash throughout the novel. I like it when authors see outside the box. This is true angst love at its best. I like when two opposite people are attracted to each other, but they do not like it admit it. Khalid is one of the sweetest characters!

This is a romantic comedy that I enjoyed immensely. The story is third person narrative, and it switches from Ayes ha and Khalid from chapter to chapter. This book had me engaged from beginning to end, I finished it within three days. The author has a way for writing that makes you begin to care about the characters. The only minor flaw I would say it towards 2/3 of the end, the plot spirals out of control a bit. I loved the novel, but there was too much drama way too fast at the end. It was hard to follow what was going on.

"You have a job?" Khalid asked, surprised.
"I also dress myself, bathe myself, drive a car and have opinions about things," Ayesha said.

Recommended for fans of Pride & Prejudice, Crazy Rich Asians

Uzma Jalaluddin is a Pakistani author of AYESHA AT LAST, a revamped Pride and Prejudice set in a close-knit Toronto Muslim community. AYESHA AT LAST was recently optioned for film by Pascal Pictures. In addition to fiction, Uzma writes a culture and parenting column for The Toronto Star. She lives in the Greater Toronto Area with her husband and two sons.