Category Archives: Books

Reading, Romance & Ruckus at #RT17 Convention in Atlanta

What a week I had last week at the RT Booklover’s Convention in Atlanta Georgia. I’m sure I can’t properly express what a joy it was to see so many of my old friends in the writer community and making so many new ones. Not to mention (but, totally to mention) I was over the moon about meeting, up close and in person so many readers. There are no readers like romance readers! They are the very best! And I’m proud to include myself in that mix. I’m such a fangirl that’s it’s hard to play it cool and not get all swoony when you’re in the presence of the likes of greats like Beverly Jenkins and Brenda Jackson.

rt17 COLLAGE abc

A few of the fab friends in these pics. If I fail to mention you I apologize in advance. Blame it on the after con brain fog I’m still under:

Me and the Dear DH at the Atl aquarium, Aliza Mann, Our big Romance Jeopardy Winner, Lovely family from Atl, me at the Kensington signing, a sea dragon!, Me with the incomparable Beverly Jenkins, sea turtle, players at Romance Jeopardy

I also had a knee slapping good time in the workshop I had the honor or participating in called Romance Jeopardy. Thanks to the other workshop presenters: Shelly Bell, Isabelle Drake, Aliza Mann, M.K. Schiller, Sienna Snow and Sage Spelling all went well and we had the best time posing Jeopardy style romance questions to a room full of enthusiastic readers. Another fun part of this was my dear DH joined me in Atlanta and got to sit in the back during our game/workshop. He was impressed and amazed at the knowledge of readers when it came to the stories they loved. He left vowing to read more fiction which I can so get behind.

I can’t let this post go without saying what a dream come true it was having my first signing with my publisher Kensington books. It was so much fun and the Kensington team showed themselves to be as gracious and wonderful as I has come to know them to be. An extra special thanks to Jane, Vida, Tara and Esi for making me feel like one of the family and to all the amazing readers and my crew, the Destin Divas who came to my table and for the hour had me feeling like the belle of the ball!

rt17 COLLAGE b

Robin Bradford, Alyssa Cole, Reese Ryan, Zuri Day and her new fiance!, Tiffany Warren, Latoya Smith, Iris Bolling, The amazing ladies of RT Book Reviews, Sheryl Lister, Janice Maynard, Ursula Renee, Leslie Penelope, Laquette, Brenda Jackson, Jacqueline aka @fangirl_musing, The super Midnight Ace and Kelly! 

Also an extra thank you to all who showed up and showed out by wearing their #WeNeedDiverseRomance tee shirts. It gave me such a good feeling to see the call for more diversity in the industry represented at the convention.

This RT was truly a hit. Even tornado warnings during a Scandal Tweet In with Sofia Tate could not dampen spirits.

Thank you to the Romantic Times team for a super con that I won’t soon forget. Big hugs to Tere Michaels, who somehow was everyplace all at once. I’m thinking she has 2 clones somewhere, but maybe I watch too much Orphan Black. I dunno.

Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of my collage of pics and see if you can spot some of your favorite folks!

rt17 COLLAGE cb

Alisha Rai, Readers Kay and Lynn, Beverly Jenkins, Unicorn Slippers!, Megan Frampton, Ursula Renee, Tara Gavin, Pintip Dunn, Cynthia, Iris Bowling and Midnight Ace,  me and the fab Lorel, Carolyn Hector, Pintip Dunn, Sofia Tate, Jane Nutter

rt17 COLLAGE d

Aliza Mann and Sage Spelling, Lena Hart, Lasheera, Leslie Frohberg Kaia Danielle, Carla Fredd, Alisha Rai, Sage Spelling, Aliza Manna, M.K. Schiller, Shelly Bell, Sienna Snow, Kelly, Felishia, Dina, Alyssa

rt17 COLLAGE eb

Me & the DH, M.K. Schiller, Ursula Renee, Joyfully Reviewed, Sherelle Green, Kate McMurry, Frannie’s Romance, Sarah Wendell, Blue Saffire

Till next year. Happy reading!

 

All the best,

KMJ

Share This:

The Wedding Day Is Here! It’s To Me I Wed’s Release Day

Who says dreams don’t come true?

I’m happy to say that today another one of just mine did. To Me I Wed, Book 2 in my Unconventional Brides Romance series is out now from Kensington Books. I’m so proud to bring the unconventional love story of Lily, the accomplished event planner, and Vin, the bad boy chef, to people.  I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. This story was a true labor of love and with it I left a lot of my heart on the page.

To Me I Wed Ack Nana

You can pick up your copy of To Me I Wed where ever books are sold or as any of these e-tailers:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2krfm26
Barnes and Noble: 
http://bit.ly/2nr6hFs
iBooks: 
http://apple.co/2ojumlK
Kobo: 
http://bit.ly/2mVZGa2

And please head over to Tia Kelly’s, Tia with a Pen’s blog here to get an exclusive To Me I Wed excerpt and please subscribe to my newsletter  – to be in the know about my monthly giveaway-

and also enter this month’s $25. gift card giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to all of you for your continued support. It means the world to me.

 

All the best,

KMJ

Share This:

The Forever Summer- Guest Post with author Jamie Brenner

Jamie Brenner photo (1)I’m so thrilled to have my friend and chapter-mate, Jamie Brenner guest posting with us today to talk about her upcoming (we share a 4/25 pub date) release The Forever Summer!

Thanks for being here and take it away Jamie!

 

 

The Family We Find

By Jamie Brenner

 

The Forever Summer a story about the beauty of family — even when the traditional notion of family is challenged.  And this is something that happened to a friend of mine and inspired this book.Jamie Forever Summer Cover

 

Last year my lifelong friend confided that something major was going on in her life. She had recently taken one of those at-home DNA tests, and was then contacted by someone also using the same testing company. My friend and this woman shared such a close DNA match, they had to be half sisters! Needless to say, this opened up a lot of questions — how had this happened? While my friend searched for answers, the writer in me created my own. And I had the starting point for The Forever Summer.

 

There’s probably no greater, more universal question than, who am I? Ten years ago, we could simply look at our parents and grandparents and that was enough of an answer. The idea of delving into family research was usually the domain of adoptees that couldn’t simply look at their immediate family. But now, in the era of ancestry.com and 23 and Me and shows like “Who Do You Think You Are,” ancestry research is the second biggest hobby in the U.S. following only gardening.  And while it’s interesting and fun, there’s a percentage of people who get results they are not expecting, and in some cases, not prepared to deal with and as a result, have to reconsider what it means to be family. The complexity and joy of the discovered family is at the heart of  The Forever Summer.

 

The Forever Summer begins with a surprise that brings three generations of women together. When two young women living on opposite sides of the country discover they are half sisters, they go on a road trip to meet the grandmother they never knew they had. One sister is thrilled by this development, the other is devastated; her mother has been exposed for keeping a very big secret. As for the grandmother, she is a woman who has suffered a lot of loss, and she had thought her days of having a house filled with family were long behind her. And then two young woman show up on her doorstep.

 

A big question for me was where this grandmother lived. What place could possibly facilitate the emotional journey these characters must go on? The answer came last spring when the CBS Sunday Morning show aired a piece about Provincetown Massachusetts.

 

Provincetown is past Cape Cod, the very tip of Massachusetts. It’s 3 miles long and two streets wide and framed by water on two sides.  It’s remote and beautiful and has two big claims to fame: It’s the place where the Pilgrims landed before Plymouth, and it’s also one of America’s oldest arts colonies. Legends have lived and worked there: Jack Keroac, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Jackson Pollock and Milton Avery.

 

A more recent great artist, author Michael Cunningham, has lived and worked there for thirty years. He was interviewed on the CBS Morning show segment, and he called Provincetown “an eccentric’s sanctuary.” He said it’s one of the very few places he knows of that “prefers peculiarity.” That’s when I started thinking — this might be the place I’ve been looking for. A place where my characters could not only come to terms with their unconventional family, but embrace it.

 

Another piece of the puzzle fell into place when I visited Provincetown for research: walking around the wharf, I saw giant black and white photos on the sides of buildings. They were of older women, women who looked serious and weathered and from another era. It was an art installation called “They Also Faced the Sea,” about the matriarchs of the Portuguese fishing families who were, for many generations, the backbone of Provincetown. So of course the grandmother in The Forever Summer had to be Portuguese, and she passes this rich Portuguese to her two granddaughters.

 

Still, I needed something that would bring the two sisters in my story together. It’s one thing to be related to someone. It’s another to relate to them. Provincetown again provided the answer: art.  Art was everywhere I looked; even the signs outside of restaurants and shops are mosaics made from bright tiles and colorful stones and sea glass. I decided that mosaics would play a part in helping the new sisters bond. With a mosaic, , there a lot of  different bits and pieces, some that clearly fit together, others not so obviously — but in the end, all coming together to create one beautiful, colorful whole. Just like a family.

 

I hope The Forever Summer brings home the idea that our families might be messy, complicated, even not what we expected. But at the end of the day it is the most important thing we have if we can just let go and embrace it.

 

Pre-order The Forever Summer here now

 

Jamie Brenner’s latest novel is The Forever Summer (Little, Brown). She is also the author of  The Wedding Sister published by St. Martin’s Press ( a Target Emerging Author pick and one of Popsugars Best Books for Women 2016) and the historical The Gin Lovers (St. Martin’s Press), named by Fresh Fiction as one of the Top Thirteen Books to read in 2013. She lives in New York City with her husband and two teenage daughters.

 

 

Check out Jamie on the web:

www.jamiebrenner.com

Twitter @jamieLbrenner 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamiebrennerauthor/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/jamiebrennerauthor/   

Jamie Brenner will be on tour! 

Tuesday, April 25th, 7:00 p.m.:

Barnes & Noble, Upper East Side

 In conversation with Cristina Alger (author of This Was Not The Plan)

(150 E 86th St., New York, NY)

Wednesday, April 26th, 7:00 p.m.:

Barnes and Noble, Cherry Hill

 (911 Haddonfield Road, Cherry Hill, NJ)

Thursday, April 27th, 7:00 p.m.:

WORD, Brooklyn (126 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11222)

Saturday, April 29th, 11:30a.m.:

Turn of the Corkscrew Books and Wine,

Celebration for Independent Bookstore Day!

(110 N Park Ave, Rockville Centre, NY, 11570)

Tuesday, May 2nd, 6:00 p.m.:

Savoy Bookshop and Café (10 Canal Street, Westerly, RI, 02891)

Tuesday, May 9th at 6:30 p.m.:

Ferguson Library (1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford, CT 06901)

Tuesday, May 16th at 7:30 p.m.:

Point Street Reading Series (Point Street Dueling Pianos, 3 Davol Square, Providence, RI, 02903)

Wednesday, 5/31 at 7:00 p.m.:

Summer Reads Panel

Turn of the Corkscrew Books and Wine

(110 N Park Ave, Rockville Centre, NY, 11570)

Saturday, June 3rd

BookCon, Details TK (Javits Center, 655 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001)

Thursday, June 8th at 6:30 p.m.:

Drinks and Discussion at Booktowne (171 Main Street, Manasquan, NJ, 08736)

 

Share This:

Almost to the Altar!

Hi Peeps! I was so thrilled yesterday to find out that TO ME I WED, Book 2 in the Unconventional Brides Series, was chosen to be one of Goodreads best romances for April! I can’t wait until TO ME I WED is let out into the world next week on the 25th but util then here is a little sneak peek!

To Me I Wed Cover Final

 

Have your cake—and true love too…

Nightmare bridesmaids’ dresses, tasteless fondant icing, budget-busting wedding expenses—some women just aren’t about it. They’ll laugh off tradition, make their own rules—and find the most outrageous ways possible to flip wedding day lockstep into true love.

She’s done, finished, had it. Between her family’s expectations and being always-a-bridesmaid, Lily Perry is fed up with being nagged to find a husband. She’s happy with her life—and tired of being burned by “nice guys” who demand she fit their dreams. So she’s going to settle the issue once and for all: by marrying herself. And celebrated chef Vincent Caro’s fabulous restaurant is the perfect place for a big-time, blow-out,
not-hearing-it-any-more wedding. Lily doesn’t care if everyone—including Vincent—thinks she’s crazy. Especially when his mouth-watering talent and no-commitments style ignites one sizzling, no-strings fling, or two…or more.

But no matter how hard they try to keep things light, their relationship keeps getting hotter. The more Vincent helps Lily tackle unexpected trouble, the more he finds she might be everything he’s ever wanted. Can she afford to forget caution and finally let go? And can they both take a risk to discover if what they have is meant to last long after the dessert course?

 

TO ME I WED

Chapter 1:

“You’re not just gaining a wife, you’re getting my best friend.” Lily Perry took one look at her sister, Sophie, and realized her mistake. Shit. Now I’ve done it. Did she really just use the same best friend line on Sophie that she had with Sophie’s twin, Audrey, at her wedding? Or was it Peggy whom she used that line on when she married Marcus? Her sisters had been getting married left and right, and all the weddings and toasts were starting to blur together. You’d think they were in some sort of great marriage race.

Lily looked around the banquet room of the VFW hall and caught her mother’s sister, Aunt Ruby pulling a face and whispering something to her newly engaged daughter, Nikki. Lily swallowed back a grimace. Jeeze, even Nikki was jumping the broom. At the rate her family was going, there would not be a broom or a groom to be snagged in all of the Rockaways. Not that Lily was actively looking for either. She had a vacuum in her apartment for sweeping, and, well, for other tasks, if her dating life hit a lull she had an electronic device to take care of that too. It was way more reliable than men anyway. Still, Lily glanced left and caught her mother, Renée Henton-Perry, staring too. The hyphenation in her name was still new to her and intentionally left off the wedding invitations. She preferring to keep things simple she said and going the traditional route of Mr. and Mrs. Perry request the honor blah, blah, blah and so forth. Her hair and makeup were flawless, as usual, and her skin was smooth and unlined. The untrained eye would never determine that she was the mother of six grown daughters—four married—with a grandchild on the way. One would also not know that right then she was highly pissed. But Lily knew. She caught the glint of disapproval in her mother’s eye and the ever-so-slight pull of tension around her perfectly lined mouth. Lily wondered if it was due to her speech faux pas or the fact that, one table over, Lily’s father, Philip Perry, was sitting with his arm draped casually around his current girlfriend, who was happily sipping on her pink cocktail and batting her long, glued-on lashes.

Lily cleared her throat as her cousin Nikki smirked and rolled her eyes in her direction. Unperturbed by her cousin’s cutting glance, Lily raised her glass higher, giving her sister what she hoped passed for a glowing smile before turning to the crowd. “I’m the luckiest woman in the world to have been blessed with the world’s best sisters. And to all my brothers-in-law, you’d better treat them right, or there will be hell to pay.” She then directed her final words to her newest brother-in-law, Simon, who looked ecstatic to be marrying Sophie. His big blue eyes shined brightly for her as they had every day since they’d met in Sophie’s improv class.

Both budding actors, they made a slightly sickeningly perfect couple. Sophie with her cocoa-brown skin and finely chiseled model features, and Simon with his wavy dark hair and captivating eyes. They looked like a couple in an aspirational car ad or in the picture that comes in the picture frame that you replace with your mediocre second best. Plus, they were always smiling and complimenting each other. If Lily didn’t know them in person and up close, she’d swear their love was faked for some reality TV show. Lily smiled at her new brother-in-law and continued from her heart. “Simon, I’m not worried about you. Your love for Sophie has been shining bright since day one. May it shine on forever.” Lily turned back to the now-beaming crowd. She had them. Hell, even Aunt Ruby was blinking back a tear.

But just as Lily took a sip of her champagne, she caught sight of a sneer from freaking Lacy Colten. Ugh, why had Sophie invited that man stealer? A nemesis since high school, Lacy was well known for frequenting weddings to get free booze and easy prey. Lily watched as Lacy stopped sneering, quickly sat up straighter, and stuck her already-on-display double Ds out even farther as she looked across the room, no doubt at her next victim. Lily’s eyes shifted.

It was him, and surprisingly, he was staring at her, not Lacy. Oh crap. His eyes so dark and intense they reminded her of hushed quiet in the dead of night. Midnight. Lily frowned as the heat of his stare penetrated her being. Working her over from the inside out. Stirring up feelings that she’d long told herself she was well and good over.

 

To Me I Wed no groom

 Pre-order your copy of TO ME I WED today!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2krfm26
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2nr6hFs
iBooks: http://apple.co/2ojumlK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2mVZGa2
Kensington: http://bit.ly/2ojxj5W

 

 

All the best,

KMJ

Share This:

Yummy Unconventional Brides Cover Goodness!

Good day! I hope the New Year is treating everyone super so far.

I recently got in cover proofs for book 3 (wow, that’s wild to say): THE BETTING VOW in my Unconventional Brides Series and I love how beautifully it sits right along with my lovely cover for book 2: TO ME I WED.  They are so sweet I just want to eat them with a spoon! I think Jack is in love with them too.

cover-proofs-1

So INSERT GROOM HERE (book 1) which is out now is just the beginning of the fun for the

Unconventional Brides.

Book 2 will be out May 1st and Book 3 will be out September 1.

2017 will be quite the ride!

Pick up INSERT GROOM HERE wherever books are sold and get in on the fun now!

insert-groom-fb-igh-fb-ad-6

Kensington: http://bit.ly/2eh61Vb
Amazon: http://amzn.to/28Mbqk3
iBooks: http://apple.co/28RPaWU
Barnes and Noble:  http://bit.ly/2gwFuas
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2g8Fhtp

 

Thanks so much!

All the best,

KMJ

Share This:

Happy New Year! And so it begins…

Happy New Year my Dear Peeps. Welcome to the new world.

Ouch!  Does that sounds as scary as you read it as it does when I write it?

Sorry. I’ll just move right along to happier chit chat. I’m hoping you all had a wonderful holiday and a

Very Happy New Year!

I’m thrilled to say that on the very first day of the new year I got to start it off in a most exceptional way by seeing my very first mass market single title, INSERT GROOM HERE book one in my Unconventional Brides Series, on the shelves in my local Barnes and Noble for the first time. It was a pretty fantastic feeling and one I’ll never be able to recapture. Hey, your first time is your first time and I’m so grateful to my editor, Selena James and my publisher, Kensington Books for making that dream come true! (cut to me posing awkwardly while I try and play it cool blinking back tears as my husband not so discreetly snaps pics.)

I tell you what, I may be a way late bloomer, but I least I got a chance to see the sun.

There is something to this never too late stuff.

insert-groom-here-barnes-and-noble-bn

You can pick up your copy of INSERT GROOM HERE Book 1 of the 
Unconventional Brides where ever books are sold !  

Kensington: http://bit.ly/2eh61Vb
Amazon: http://amzn.to/28Mbqk3
iBooks: http://apple.co/28RPaWU
Barnes and Noble:  http://bit.ly/2gwFuas
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2g8Fhtp

insert-groom-final-postcard-front-igh-postcard4x6-3

And a bonus don’t forget: please subscribe to my mailing list on the right and click below to enter this

month’s giveaway!

Hint: it’s FIRE! (Kindle Fire)

http://gvwy.io/wbjmjcd

All the best,

KMJ

Share This:

Cheering In The Holidays with Holiday Temptation!

Hello Dear Peeps,

So nice to check in with you all and wishing you a wonderful week. So far mine has been quite eventful.

I wanted to announce that this month’s 25.00 Gift card contest winner was Vernetta E. Congrats Vernetta! Subscribe to the KMJ Newsletter in the links on the right to stay in the know with KMJ news and releases and be up on our monthly contests! Don’t miss out.

And now for the big news… on Sunday I had my first ever signing at Barnes and Noble when I signed at Barnes and Noble in Yonkers, NY for their Holiday Book Fair to benefit the Yonkers Public Library. Talk about a dream come true! I was so honored to be invited and to come out for a great cause.

I also could not be more grateful to the friends and family that came out in support of me by picking up copies of HOLIDAY TEMPTATION, the Christmas Anthology that I’m in with Donna Hill and Farrah Rochon. You can see from the below photos that I could not stop smiling. Especially with all my family. You can pick up your copy wherever books are sold. Or just look up and click over to my books page.  Thank you so much!

bn-y

 

bn-z

bn-w

bn-x

All the best,

KMJ

Share This:

Tis The Season!

Hello Dear Peeps! How are you all?

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve checked in and I apologize. November has been an incredibly busy and stressful month, but I’m happy to be back home and get started on the crazy of the holiday season with all of you.

And speaking of the holidays it’s time for me to get going with making those holiday donuts (see how I was dying to work that pun and these pics into this post) because my first single title release will be out at the end of this month and it will be busy, busy, busy in the best of ways!

donuts-2

On 12/27 INSERT GROOM HERE will be HERE!! Yay! Have you pre-ordered your copy yet? Well please do and be one of the first in the know (all the cool kids are doing it- if hat kind of peer pressure works on you).

insert-groom-final-postcard-front-igh-postcard4x6-3

You can Pre-order INSERT GROOM HERE at any of these retailers.

Kensington: http://bit.ly/2eh61Vb

Amazon: http://amzn.to/28Mbqk3

iBooks: http://apple.co/28RPaWU

Barnes and Noble:  http://bit.ly/2gwFuas

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2g8Fhtp

Also congrats go out to Michael S. for being last month’s 25.00 Newsletter contest winner. Please fill out the links to the right and sign up for my newsletter if you have not already so that you can be sure to get links to the next contest. I hope you all are well and let’s rock this busy holiday month out together!

 

Best,

Kwana

Share This:

Rom Com? Don’t mind if I do!

I adore a good romantic comedy and to that my upcoming Unconventional Brides Series, starting with INSERT GROOM HERE is my take at ROM COM wedding fun!

Insert-Groom-Here450

 

So today I was completely over the moon to see that my novella ROMANCING THE FASHIONISTA was included in Book Riot’s list of top 100 Must Read Romantic Comedies. What? Huh? I mean come on people Helen Fielding is on the list. To be anywhere near her air, to know me, is to know that’s a dream come true.

RomancingTheFashionista

 

So please check out the list and add some new Rom Coms to your TBR piles. Trust me you can’t go wrong. There are so many of my faves here. Ahem, Farrah Rochon, Jamie Wesley, Megan Frampton, Phyllis Bourne, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Victoria Dahl… I could go on. Just get you some books people and enjoy the love with a side of laughter.

 

All the best,

KMJ

Share This:

Time For A Change- Author Interview with Sonali Dev

 

Today on ye old blog I’m proud to welcome bestselling author of THE BOLLYWOOD BRIDE and THE BOLLYWOOD AFFAIR, Sonali Dev. Today Sonali is here to talk about her latest release, A CHANGE OF HEART.

a-change-of-heart

Hi Sonali, thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today. It’s a real honor and a treat.

Thanks so much for having me!

First off can you tell us a bit about A CHANGE OF HEART?

It’s the story of Dr. Nikhil Joshi who lost his wife two years ago in a horribly tragic crime, and Jess, the woman who claims to have his wife’s heart in a transplant. It’s basically a journey into healing from loss and trauma and coming out into the light.

Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

Dr. Nikhil ‘Nic’ Joshi had it all—marriage, career, purpose. Until, while working for Doctors Without Borders in a Mumbai slum, his wife, Jen, discovered a black market organ transplant ring. Before she could expose the truth, Jen was killed.

Two years after the tragedy, Nic is a cruise ship doctor who spends his days treating seasickness and sunburn and his nights in a boozy haze. On one of those blurry evenings on deck, Nic meets a woman who makes a startling claim: she received Jen’s heart in a transplant and has a message for him. Nic wants to discount Jess Koirala’s story as absurd, but there’s something about her reckless desperation that resonates despite his doubts.

Jess has spent years working her way out of a nightmarish life in Calcutta and into a respectable Bollywood dance troupe. Now she faces losing the one thing that matters—her young son, Joy. She needs to uncover the secrets Jen risked everything for; but the unforeseen bond that results between her and Nic is both a lifeline and a perilous complication.

Delving beyond the surface of modern Indian-American life, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s page-turning novel is both riveting and emotionally rewarding—an extraordinary story of human connection, bravery, and hope.

What inspired you to write this story?

Nikhil and his wife Jen were major secondary characters in my previous book, The Bollywood Bride, which was a book that lived inside my head for many years before it was published, and Nikhil and Jen’s story was always one I knew I was going to write. But Nic and Jen both worked in some of the most disturbed and dangerous parts of the world, they constantly put themselves at risk for their cause.  When I started writing their story, the risks just caught up with them. It happened without me meaning for it to. Then I got obsessed with the idea of healing from unspeakable loss and with the privilege of being able to say things like “I could never live without x, y, or z,” and what happens when we lose a belief so basic. That’s where A Change Of Heart came from.

Without giving too much away can you tell us how A CHANGE OF HEART ties in with your other books?

A CHANGE OF HEART (and all my books, really) stand alone. However, we do meet Nikhil and Jen in THE BOLLYWOOD BRIDE first and in that they two books are related. They basically follow the same family and there’s a strong family saga element to all my books.

 

You go a bit dark in A CHANGE OF HEART, really getting deep into emotions. What made this an important story for you to write right now? 

I think we all cherish our families and loved ones and live with a deep-seeded fear of losing all that. One part of telling stories is exploring situations that disturb us so we can keep the faith that everything is surmountable and to keep our lives hopeful even when we see horrific things going on in the world. That’s at the heart of it, I think. I wrote this dedication to my children for A CHANGE OF HEART and I think it says it all:

For Mihir and Annika, because I want you

to believe that every darkness can be overcome.

And because you are the brightness that lights up my world.

 

 

Ok now I’m in tears. Thank you for sharing that.

This next question is a favorite of mine. Care to share the story of your “overnight” success with my readers?

I’m one of those writers who didn’t discover her love for writing suddenly or serendipitously. I’ve written and loved to write for as long as I can remember. But making a life as a writer was one of those dreams that somehow always seemed like a pie in the sky. So while I went to architectural school so I could have a ‘real’ career, I continued to pursue my ‘hobby’. But the need to write was so strong I found myself quitting my job at my architectural firm to work for an architectural magazine within months of graduating.

So, really, for me the true journey was going from business writing and journalism to fiction, and that flip happened when I was talking to my best friend who is a movie producer. She was complaining about the scripts she’d been reading and we both said, ‘Well, how hard can it be to write a good movie?’ Famous last words, right?

I wrote my first script for her within a month and then wrote several after that. None of these ever got made into movies (answering our ridiculously arrogant question with all the delicacy of a tight slap).

But once I’d caught the fiction bug I couldn’t shake it off. The high of creating characters and putting them through the ringer and watching them triumph was a drug like no other.

My kids were babies then and I wrote everywhere. When they napped, at playgroup, at the park. As they grew, I wrote at soccer fields, on swimming pool bleachers, in math class waiting rooms, and in parking lots large and small. I still get a lot of my writing done in parking lots outside my kids’ various activities.

But my quest to get published didn’t start in earnest until I completed my first manuscript, The Bollywood Bride, in 2010 and joined the Romance Writers of America (RWA). After that it was all crazed obsession. I spun in the edit/query/get rejected loop incessantly for three years before I sold The Bollywood Bride following an impromptu pitch to my editor in the middle of a Kensington spotlight at The Chicago Spring Fling conference.

 

Lastly, what can readers expect next from you?

My next book is a Rapunzel story about a girl who’s been locked up in a sterile room for 12 years waiting to find a cure for her illness and a boy who’s been a servant in her home and her only friend and her eyes to the world, and how they navigate the real world when she’s finally free.

 

And now here’s a short excerpt from A CHANGE OF HEART:

Nikhil’s head felt like someone had squeezed it through a liquidizer. Whiskey burn stung his brain as if he had snorted the stuff instead of pouring it down his gullet. He leaned into the polished brass railing, letting the wind pummel his face. The ship, all twenty-four floors of behemoth decadence, was like the damn Burj Al Arab speeding across the Caribbean. And yet the only way to know they were moving was to watch the waves. His fingers released the glass sitting on the railing and it flew into the night, disappearing long before it hit the inky water.

He imagined hopping on the railing, imagined being that glass. Boom! And it would be over. Finally, there’d be peace.

The sky was starting to ignite at the edges, as though the glass of Jack he’d just tossed into the night had splattered amber flecks across the horizon. It would go up in flames soon. All of it orange and gold when the sun broke through the rim of the ocean. It was time for him to leave. The last thing he needed was the mockery of another breaking dawn.

“Sir, why don’t you stay and watch today?” A man leaned on his mop, staring at Nikhil from under his windblown hair, that tentative, guilty look firmly in place. The look people couldn’t seem to keep off their faces when they talked to Nikhil—the one that announced, rather loudly, that they were terrified of intruding. Because The Pathetic Dr. Joshi with the giant hole in his heart might break down right before their eyes.

“Very beautiful it is, no?” The man pointed his chin at the burgeoning sunrise that had just pumped Nikhil’s lungs full of pain and waited for a response. But while the blazing pain in Nikhil’s heart was functioning at full capacity, the booze incapacitated his tongue. He wanted to react, wanted to have a conversation with the man who was obviously starved for it. He searched for words to say, but he came up empty.

Now there was a word: empty.

Still empty after two years.

 

Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.

Thanks, Kwana!

Sonali can be found at these places on the web. Please check her out:

 

Facebook.com/SonaliDev.author

Twitter— @Sonali_Dev

sonalidev.com

Newsletter—http://eepurl.com/O4xA5

Goodreads.com/sonalidev

authorphoto

 

And don’t forget to pick up your copy of A CHANGE OF HEART!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cbMK70

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/9781496705747

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-change-of-heart-28

BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/search?query=9781496705747&where=All

IndieBounnd: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781496705747

Target: http://www.target.com/s?searchTerm=A+Change+of+Heart

Walmart:  https://www.walmart.com/ip/A-Change-of-Heart/52609083

Hudson Booksellers: http://www.hudsonbooksellers.com/book/9781496705747

All the best,

KMJ

 

Share This: