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Maryam Mohiuddin

Maryam Mohiuddin

Hyderabad, India

Maryam Mohiuddin is a South African National currently residing in India. Writing has always been a passion and a secret dream of this individual who believes in happy endings.

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About the author

Maryam is a South African National currently living in India. She studied Accounts Administration and she's worked in the Security Sector, Adult Education and Property Administration utilizing her accounts background. During her school days she received several accolades for her writing, which was mostly poetry and short stories. This is her first novel and it's a completed work. 

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Fall of the Chocolate Empire

A Novel

A man has a right to protect his family, how far should his conscious allow him to go?

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Romantic Fiction Literary
100,000 words
100% complete
4 publishers interested


Fall of the Chocolate Empire is a book with which I'm telling a story that finds within itself every other story that somehow seems to be the best kind of story, a love story! 

In sometimes complicated, sometimes simple relationships immersed in real issues like male impotence, domestic violence, child brides, rape, the danger of sociopaths, social discrimination against the LGBTQ community we get to see the beautiful strength of the human spirit despite the ravages of lifes' storms and that anybody can fall in-love.

This book is also a stage for both my protagonist and antagonist (classic bad boy versus the good guy) and brings to the fore  their raging battle played out in strategic steps against one another.

Raised in a loving home with adoring parents, to be a fair man,  a soldier, a King, Luca has some learning to do about being a husband. He loves her but his problem causes him to doubt himself as a man, as her husband and if he cannot perfect either of those what kind of protector will he be? The only escape is to inundate himself with running the Kingdom and focusing on the Duke.

After losing loving parents and having their home ripped away from them by unscrupulous business associates of their fathers' two little boys find themselves homeless. The going is tough but Guiseppe manages to eke out an existence for both himself and his younger brother. Then a lucrative opportunity arises, it provides him with the resources to give Leonardo the best education possible, equal to that of a prince but it's cost to him personally will last a lifetime.

Luca loves Zia but his pride grows beyond his means preventing him from telling her he's become impotent, rather he allows her to drown in his rejection, her self-doubt and the resultant feelings of inadequacy.  

Years of domestic violence, which she manages to keep a secret for most of their marriage, leaves Sorilda feeling ashamed, unworthy of love and unworthy of happiness. She views herself through Guiseppe's eyes, through his words and forgets who she really is until real love walks into her life and she is blessed with a gift she has yearned for years, a gift that she will fight to protect, even against Guiseppe, her abusive husband.

Leonardo loves Guiseppe too much to dissappoint his big brother by telling him he's gay. 

Her unclothed beauty, despite being scarred touches him. He seeks her out only to win her body and soul but not her trust. It's only when he stands with her once more in that storm on the dark waters that she will give him her all, her trust.

She desires romance more than love but doesn't realize it. The handsome young poet presents a face so well crafted she doubts her own instincts till the glass mask is shattered and she comes face to face with a monster who smiles as he prepares to offer her to death.




Luca and Zia live without passion but she doesn't know why. Guiseppe abuses Sorilda and Sorenson falls in-love for the first time. Katarina is touched by the words  of a poet and Leonardo poisons the King's wine, arranges to journey far to procure more herbs to carry out Guiseppe's wishes.

Luca has Guiseppe's business investigated and simultaneously his body starts to show signs of normality. Guiseppe prepares for his trip. Sorilda has a breakdown. Katarina, and her best friend Marissa go to meet the poet.

Luca's agent sails away on Guiseppe ship. The Duke's belongings are moved to the northern wing. Zia witnesses Luca's bodily strength but he rejects her. Sorenson approaches his family about Gella and she is installed at the castle. Marissa has always loved Sorenson, Katarina misses the chance to tell her best friend about Gella. Bandits attack, Leonardo is taken captive.

Katarina trusts her instincts and rejects Phillip, he fixates on her. Luca is ready but Zia rejects him.  Sorenson begins working, Gella sees less of him.

They're caught in a storm but Guiseppe's men are expert sailors. The bandits attack a wagon party but there is no loot and many of them die. Katarina doubts her own instincts.

Leonardo pays his captors. Guiseppe returns to the WK. The family officially welcomes Gella. Sorilda is loved from afar and Zia continues to reject Luca.

Sirilo and Sorilda resolve their misunderstandings and become lovers. Luca and Zia rekindle their passion. Katarina dreams of a handsome stranger, Gella's past haunts her and Leonardo comes home.

Guiseppe acknowledges Leonardo publicly. Luca's agent is delayed in returning to the WK. Marissa, furious with Katarina, entices Phillip. Sorilda is loved up and knocked up. The brothers meet and Leonardo cries in Guiseppe's arms.

Marissa's corpse is discovered and Sorilda's secret is nearly exposed. Guiseppe's men continue to steal gems from Kingdom storehouses. Gella's past is in the WK.

Leonardo re-enters the world, gains many female admirers and Sorilda stands up to Guiseppe. 

Gella's husband presents himself on her and Sorenson's wedding day.  Luca issues a kill order but his agent strikes the wrong man. Guiseppe grieves and escapes returning with an army seeking revenge. The WK is victorious without a battle. The volcano erupts and feasts on all she can.


Since my high school days everyone I knew was reading a romance novel of some kind, whether it was my friends at school, shockingly my English Professor, my family members from mom and aunts and even granny. Okay, yes me too!

There's something uplifting about reading a love story with a happy ending. It energizes people's spirits and makes them feel better about themselves, they see dashes of themselves in the herione's character and feel her final victory as though it were their own. 

My book is Literary Fiction and Romance. Below are references to book sales in both categories.

Please see - The Business of Romance Novels in the U.S. and the World by Rachel Dalke - Below is a small sample of info from the study:

According to the study readers discover the romance genre between the ages of 11 and 18 with the main readers being females between the ages of 30 to 54. Most readers were those who worked outside the home, had a college degree and a staggering 82% of those readers are female fans. 

Please also check - Romance novels outselling all other genres.

Sources: Nielsen, Bookstats, PEW Research Center, RWA, Entertainment Weekly, Author Earnings’ July 2014
Author Earnings Report, Harlequin

Also check out - 

January 2018 Report: US online book sales, Q2-Q4 2017 by Author Earnings


I have a good story to tell. A story that people from different walks of life can relate to. The problems the characters face and the emotional upheaval is relate-able because at some point we've been there and we've felt that.

That's why I want to use mediums millions of people access today, mediums that have become such a vital part of our lives and that many of us would be lost without.

I'm talking about social media - facebook, twitter (the two mediums I'm familiar with) to post and promote character story information like unfolding drama's, betrayals, conspiracies, light at the end of the tunnel and sometimes a mirages that appear to be that light but ultimately lead to unwanted destinations.

I'm ready to dive into video marketing because I believe it will help get my book out there.

I am also interested in speaking engagements, interviews at local bookshops, coffee houses, libraries or any other similar activities to create awareness about my book and to generate interest therein. Any other avenues open to me in this regard are sincerely welcome. 



The Scarlet Pimpernickel by Emmuska Orczy

The danger seems real, there's romance, characters to root for and villians we want to despise.

It was published in 1905 by a publishing house called Greening.

The Black Arrow - Robert Louis Stevenson

About a young man finding the hero within himself, his loyalties torn whilst trying to distinguish friend from foe and confronting dangers like shipwreck, revenge, murder and forbidden love while the country around him seems to descend into chaos.

It was published by Adamant Media Corporation (though first published in 1888)

The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliffe

It's the story of a man who's home is destroyed, left open to the twin dangers of Saxon invasion and civil war, he endures years of torment before deciding to do something about it. 

The Handmaidens Tale by Margaret Atwood

It's the story of a woman who once lived a normal life with her husband and child, earning her own money and having access to knowledge. Reduced to being a handmaiden, buying supplies daily and having sex with the Commander once a month makes up her existence until things change.

It was published 16th March 1998 by Anchor Books (first published 1985)

The Talisman by Sir Walter Scotthe 

Talisman is a story about the Crusades -- a story of chivalry, violence, virtue, romance, and deception. In this book the bad guy behaves like the good guy and the good guy behaves like the bad guy.

Published 1st November 2002 by Borgo Press (first published 1825)


My book contains a varied number of elements pertaining to love and marriage (mature love, domestic violence, true love, first love, forbidden love), the above mentioned books contains possibly only one or two of those elements at most. The rich tapestry of stories I've woven into my book goes on to bring to the fore elements such as male impotence, domestic abuse, race, sociopaths, social taboos in terms of romantic relationships. 

You'll meet a protagonist you can root for and at the same time feel annoyed at because of his pride that causes so much unnecessary pain, a villain with whom you'll sympathize and loathe at the same.

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Fall of the Chocolate Empire: by Maryam Fatima Mohiuddin  

He poured the last drops of the poison into the King's remaining wine bottles, he knew which the King favored especially and laced these with a few extra drops of the poison, having worked in the castle for as long as he had he'd become well acquainted with the habits of many, he also knew that just a few drops of the vile poison was enough to contaminate a full bottle of wine. He looked surreptitiously around to ensure that he was still alone, but then again even if someone had seen him they had no reason to question his presence there. He was a trusted member of the castle staff, an efficient and respected worker, who often did more than his share. That was why he was perfect for this task, Guiseppe himself had told him so. He knew the poison wouldn't  kill the King but it's effects would be devastating nonetheless. He felt no particular emotion about his nefarious activity after all he was being loyal to the one person who had always remained loyal to him. The sound of approaching footsteps caused him to exit through a side door. From this vantage point he watched as Valerius entered only to walk up to the small table at the window, before suddenly stopping and retracing his steps as though he'd forgotten something. This small, simple table made of oak may have been plain in terms of what many expected Kings to use but King Luca was a simple man at heart and his usual routine was to have a few quiet moments to himself at that table when returning home, look through the huge window at the vast ocean expanse outside and have a glass or two of wine. He knew Valerius was one of Guiseppe's private servants but had never been able to stomach the man. Somehow, something about him wasn't right, he wasn't sure if it was the vacant look in the man's eyes or the lack of sympathy he'd witnessed there on that occasion when he'd nearly walked into the  room as Guiseppe struck his wife across the face and sent her keeling to the floor. Almost immediately he'd noticed the stoic little man stepping out of the way so the Duchess wouldn't fall on him and moving to stand on the opposite side of the room, his bearing erect and his face blank. He shook his head twice, thrice as if shaking the memory away and made his way out of the cellar before someone saw him. No-one else was allowed to partake of the King's special wine stock, perhaps save the Queen but as far as he remembered she had never chosen to do so, usually preferring fresh juices. Only one man was trusted with the procurement, delivery and stock of the King's wine stock and he always selected his own workers to handle the heavy labor. That was how they had met. The first time they had made love was in the castle, in the cool dark of the King's private wine cellar. He never disclosed his relationship with Guiseppe to his lover, knowing full well that the Duke he served was a nemesis to the King his lover served.

pg 101

 That's enough! What's wrong with you? We've enjoyed each other but clearly that needs  to come to an end now. We shan't be meeting again he said. Because of her? Well then, I meant  what I said. I'll tell her everything about us she threatened removing her arms from around his  neck. You will tell her nothing! he answered tightly gripping her upper arms. The steel grip of his  fingers seeming to cut into her skin. I will tell her this very day said Marissa. No! You won't. Do  you want everyone to know that you're a filthy whore? What will your father think when he hears  of this he said before throwing her to the ground. The soft hay did not break her fall, instead it felt  like tiny needles piercing her delicate skin, she hadn't dressed yet. Her arms already had welts from  where he'd gripped them. She grabbed at her petticoat, throwing it over her body. The tears she had tried to stop from falling now came down in a crescendo. Phillip, looking down at her sprawled on the floor as she hastily covered herself continued dressing. How could you even think that I'd want to marry someone like you, just look at you? You're clearly a whore, otherwise what decent woman  would let a man have her so easily without belonging to him in marriage first! he said. An ugly  smile curved his lips. The violence of her emotions pushed her on now and a realization dawned on her with the kind of clarity she hadn't felt for a while, I will tell her no matter what. I will tell her what you've done to me today. How you've betrayed me. I was wrong to be upset with Katarina because of Sorenson, but I'll make it up to her by saving her from a monster like you. She's my best  friend, she'll believe me said Marissa through her tears and uneven breathing. The smirk on his face  turned into something else. Something within her told her to run. She rose and tried to get away,  but Phillip grabbed her and threw her down once more so that she fell on her back. She grabbed some hay and threw it at his face and tried again to run away but the hay proved ineffective. He pushed her down. She  struggled, scratching at his eyes. He pushed her over so that she was face down in the hay. Planting  his knees on her back he encircled his large hands on her throat, squeezing tighter and tighter.  Marissa felt her throat constrict, she struggled for air, hearing the pitiful sound of her voice as it tried to free itself from her stressed throat. His knees burned a hole in the small of her back with the  pressure of his body weight. Marissa felt great evil around her, then she was gone. He felt when she'd taken her last breath. He continued choking her afterwards for a few moments just to be sure.  Lifting himself off her, he turned her over and looked into her face. She truly was beautiful, even in  death. She hadn't cried out loud in her last moments, she had made a gurgling, coughing noise but  he was sure that God could hear and understand every communication, no matter how  indecipherable it was to the human ear. He touched her face, then her neck his hand  finally resting on her still exposed breast. He exhaled sharply, she was still warm. We'll enjoy one last  time together after all we both like it and you should be rewarded for the sacrifice you're making  for my and Katarina's future said Phillip but her now lifeless corpse didn't reply.

pg 104

Congratulations Your Highness, I'm happy for you. You deserve to be happy and I know you've wanted to be a mother for such a long-time praise and  thanks be to the Lord for this boon Your Highness said Nana. Oh yes, thanks be to the Lord said  Sorilda suddenly a lot quieter. Isn't it strange that I have only been with Sirilo recently and I'm with child and yet after all the years I endured with the Duke I failed to produce an heir for him? Could  it be that the problem never lay with me? Could it be that the Duke is infertile? I'm sure you've heard the stories about the many children he's supposedly fathered outside of this farce of a marriage I've suffered but has anyone ever even seen one of these children? He must've known that he is infertile and yet he blamed me. He so cruelly taunted me, knowing full well that the problem lay with him and not me. He must've known before we even got married! said Sorilda. The pain she released with every word she spoke drew fresh tears from her. But these were not tears of  happiness. This was grief, for all the years that he had denied her the most basic of rights. The right  to be a mother and a wife, a real wife. Not only had he denied her rights he'd blamed her for his  own inability. Countless times she'd suffered violence at his hands. In the early years of their  marriage she'd over-extended herself in so many ways to please him, but nothing was ever good  enough for Giuseppe. He'd always find fault with anything and everything she said or did  especially when it was for him. Making it worse was the way he'd turn things on her, making it  appear that she was the one deliberately attempting to hurt him when he knew that she loved him.  Nana, he never loved me. From the beginning he never loved me. He courted me, married me,  mouthing the right words in front of the priest at the altar and also to me in the beginning but he  never loved me. Why did he marry me Nana? Why? asked Sorilda sobbing uncontrollably. Nana  knew full well that her mistress had suffered in silence with the Duke all these years. Your  Highness the Duke has mistreated you all these years, it became so that I was no longer shocked at  his violence towards you even though I attended to you but this deception that he's managed to pull  off all these years, it proves that he is far more dangerous than you or I or anyone else for that  matter could ever have imagined. I fear what he may do should he discover that you're with child  now said Nana. Oh Nana, he's a monster. He's a monster that hides his truest face and intentions  behind a mask made up of fake smiles and false words and after all these years of pain with  Giuseppe I can say with certainty that I know he is dangerous, he isn't just violent he plays mind games, he pretends and lies so well it's frightening and it's part of the reason why I felt helpless in the fury of his relentless attacks! said Sorilda. Laying herself down she turned on her side and wept for herself, for  her wasted years and for the children she imagined she and the Duke would have that she now understood never had a chance of being conceived. 

pg 105

Something's different about her. She's glowing. I know she's always been a beautiful woman but it's  something different, I've never seen her like this before. And she eats more, at nearly every session  we've had with Father Tomas she's had snacks, she's never been hungry like that all the time said Giuseppe. The Captain remained quiet. She's different, she seems to have some strange confidence  about her that..........I haven't seen since we first met and married, that hope and happiness she used  to ooze that life would be wonderful. She doesn't even seem to fear me, in fact she seems annoyed  at my presence, like she's just waiting for our counselling period to be over, so she can claim  irreconcilable differences and say she tried her best, but it was in vain! he said ending in a strange high pitched voice, that sounded strange even to him. Still the Captain did  not speak. She's aloof, indifferent, like she has something more important to do. That's it! She does  have something. She has someone. Of course, she does, that's the only way to explain how a weak- minded person like her could suddenly have this new-found confidence. She could never raise  herself on her own like this. I need to find out who this man is. Who dares to touch my wife? After  all I'm her husband and I'm the only one who has rights over her! said Giuseppe. 

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