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A Drop of Venom

January 16, 2024

Circe goes YA in this unapologetically feminist retelling of the Medusa myth steeped in Indian mythology, a YA epic fantasy addition to the Rick Riordan Presents imprint.


All monsters and heroes have beginnings. This is mine.

Sixteen-year-old Manisha is no stranger to monsters—she’s been running from them for years, from beasts who roam the jungle to the King’s army, who forced her people, the naga, to scatter to the ends of the earth. You might think that the kingdom’s famed holy temples atop the floating mountains, where Manisha is now a priestess, would be safe—but you would be wrong.

Seventeen-year-old Pratyush is a famed slayer of monsters, one of the King’s most prized warriors and a frequent visitor to the floating temples. For every monster the slayer kills, years are added to his life. You might think such a powerful warrior could do whatever he wants, but true power lies with the King. Tired after years of fighting, Pratyush wants nothing more than a peaceful, respectable life.

When Pratyush and Manisha meet, each sees in the other the possibility to chart a new path. Unfortunately, the kingdom’s powerful have other plans. A temple visitor sexually assaults Manisha and pushes her off the mountain into a pit of vipers. A month later, the King sends Pratyush off to kill one last monster (a powerful nagin who has been turning men to stone) before he’ll consider granting his freedom.

Except Manisha doesn’t die, despite the hundreds of snake bites covering her body and the venom running through her veins. She rises from the pit more powerful than ever before, with heightened senses, armor-like skin, and blood that can turn people to stone. And Pratyush doesn’t know it, but the “monster” he’s been sent to kill is none other than the girl he wants to marry.

Alternating between Manisha’s and Pratyush’s perspectives, Sajni Patel weaves together lush language, high stakes, and page-turning suspense, demanding an answer to the question “What does it truly mean to be a monster?"

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The Design of Us

July 16, 2024


One impulsive lie leads to a weeklong adventure of fake dating for two bickering coworkers in this swoony destination wedding rom-com by Sajni Patel, author of The Trouble with Hating You.

 

Sunshine incarnate Bhanu brings big UX energy to whatever she does, including going for the promotion where her only serious competition is her work nemesis, AKA Sunny, the grump with the Denzel voice. She expected to get a reprieve from him while visiting her family in Hawai’i, but the universe has other plans. When Bhanu runs into Sunny at the hotel and witnesses his ex criticizing him about being single, Bhanu does the first thing that comes to mind: she impetuously claims to be Sunny’s girlfriend just to get some peace and quiet. Except Sunny is on island for a friend’s wedding and his ex has already texted the entire wedding party about this mysterious girlfriend.

Bhanu truly is the bane of Sunny’s existence. But the last thing he wants to do is cause tension during his friend’s wedding festivities, much less be the object of their pity. He has no choice except to play along, if only he and Bhanu can put aside their quarreling and act like a real couple.

Between Bhanu’s hilariously meddling family and Sunny’s ecstatic friends, the two are pushed closer together, even as stress mounts over the impending promotion.

They say what happens on island, stays on island. But as Sunny and Bhanu let their guards down, will either of them be able to resist this romantic getaway 

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A Touch of Blood

February 25, 2025

Read the Persephone myth like never before in this companion to A Drop of Venom by Sajni Patel, where Greek mythology meets Indian lore.

Gods are made, not born.


Before Manisha, the youngest of three sisters, was sent to hide on the floating mountain, her eldest sister, Eshani, made a deal with the shades. In order to save her people in the midst of a tragic war, she exchanged her life for theirs. Now, years later, the shades claim their due, dragging Eshani into the Nightmare Realm where she must find the Gatekeeper to fulfill her end of the bargain.

Nothing is as it seems in a land filled with ravenous monsters, ghoulish residents, and a river full of the dead. But most terrifying of all is the Shadow King, who intends to use Eshani to obtain immortality. As it turns out, Eshani—nicknamed “little goddess of spring”—is the key to fulfilling the Nightmare Realm’s prophecy. There’s only one person who can help Eshani escape, and he has his own problems.

Hiran has spent most of his life hiding, but destiny beckons, and he can no longer resist the call of the realm. But how can a stowaway, long thought to be dead, save an entire world? 

Nothing will stop the Nightmare Realm from getting what it wants. Except maybe a king in the making and a goddess rising. 

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