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.
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.
Sonali can be found at these places on the web. Please check her out:
And don’t forget to pick up your copy of A CHANGE OF HEART!
Hudson Booksellers: http://www.hudsonbooksellers.com/book/9781496705747
All the best,
Holiday Temptation Release Day is here!!!
It’s release day! It’s release day!
We’re gonna party like it’s release day!!
Yippee today is the day that HOLIDAY TEMPTATION comes out with the super fab Donna Hill, Farrah Rochon and Meeee!!!! I promise you I’m not twelve years old but this book coming out has me that excited. It’s my first mass market in store release so besides being excited you’ll find me going through all he emotions…
Excitement over the release…
Fear- (will they like me?)…
Overwhelming joy because hey, I’m in a book with two amazing authors and I’m in stores. I need to rock this moment!
So don’t mind me if a blabber on this week. First don’t happen everyday. Now please excuse me while I head to some bookstores to scope out HOLIDAY TEMPTATION ON THE SHELVES….
gifs thanks to giphy.com & realitytvgifs.tumblr.com
Feel free to join me or check out HOLIDAY TEMPTATION wherever books are sold.
Tis the season to satisfy your holiday desires with this festive trio of sexy stories…
A GIFT OF LOVE Donna Hill
Drama professor Traci Long spends her free time at the CoffeeMate café, pursuing her true passion—writing her own plays. Meanwhile, sexy barista Noah Jefferson is doing his best to distract her. But once they get involved, past betrayals make Traci wary. She’s right that Noah is keeping something from her—but it might be something that will make this Christmas as sweet as a rave review—and steamier than her favorite chai latté…
HOLIDAY SPICE Farrah Rochon
A Christmas-time tragedy took photographer Miranda Lawson’s holiday spirit with it. Since then, she’s traveled the world, determined to outrun her demons. This year she’s off to Istanbul. But the scenery isn’t the only gorgeous site she spots through her camera lens….Kyle Daniels loves Christmas, but he’s looking for escape too—and soon he and Miranda find it in each other’s arms. Yet their connection doesn’t end there. Maybe staying put isn’t such a bad idea after all—especially when there’s someone to celebrate with…
FROM HERE TO SERENITY K.M. Jackson
Unstoppable real-estate developer Ross Montgomery is under orders to get some holiday R&R. A cruise to Miami on his yacht, “The Serenity,” is the perfect place to start—especially when he meets his new personal chef, Essie Bradford. Between her calming presence, her amazing food, and her delectable beauty, Ross just might develop a taste for the good life. And when the two discover they have a lot in common—including an irresistible attraction—the next course may be a spicy New Year…
Click below to check out HOLIDAY TEMPTATION at your favorite e-tailer
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2d9lSWA
Indie Bound http://bit.ly/2d9mLP1
All the best,
Falling Hard for author Aliza Mann- the Interview
Today on ye old blog we have fab author, Aliza Mann here to discuss writing and her latest project, a new adult paranormal romance novella called DARK HEARTS in the FALLING HARD Anthology.
Hi Aliza, thanks so much for being here on ye old blog today. It’s a real treat.
KMJ: First off can you tell us a bit about your current work, DARK HEARTS?
AM: Hi there Kwana. I’m happy to be here. Long time fan.
Dark Hearts is really a story about taking chances. The hero is a young man who believes at the start of the story at least, that he can block himself off and protect himself from being hurt. It’s a story about the vulnerability that comes with trusting and loving others.
While struggling to contain the beast within, Mitchell Rowland imprints on the beautiful and mysterious Aurora Tanner. With Mitch’s dangerous lycan secret and Aurora’s demon father out to kill her, they must band together to fight against the very things that could ultimately keep them apart.
I sincerely enjoyed writing characters who was so passionate and young. It was a lot of fun and I hope the readers will enjoy it, as well.
KMJ: What inspired you to write this story?
AM: The inspiration for this story, like many, came from personal experiences. Mitch is very afraid of intimacy. He was the first character who popped into my head, and he was born from some of the things we’ve all experienced. There are times when you meet someone and think, hey, I wonder if I can really be myself around this person? It can be very scary to drop your mask for another person. And I was so interested in exploring those types of issues fully through my character’s lenses.
KMJ: What made you want to join in on an anthology?
AM: Oh, this was fun. I have a very fabulous critique group and at one of our sessions, someone said, let’s write an anthology! And as we unpacked all the reasons we should, and shouldn’t, we decided to go for it. And we decided to self-publish.
I can tell you, none of us knew what we were getting into. First, we decided we would have a thread of continuity throughout the entire collection through each relationship. For instance, Mitch is best friends with Hazel – in the last story of the anthology, Hunting Witch Hazel. I had no idea it was so difficult to capture another person’s character based on a description. I can tell you, there were times when Heather, the author of the other story, would tell me I had the voice all wrong. And it hurt my feelings, but I’d go back to the drawing board the next day.
Then there was all the self-publishing things, like book covers and editing, to deal with.
But was challenging as it all was at times, I had a great time creating this. I can’t believe it’s done, but it is just as rewarding as I’d hoped it would be. They really are a wonderful group of authors, and I’ve learned so much. That’s the reason behind it all.
KMJ: What made you choose this genre to write in?
AM: I have always loved paranormal, but because of some of the market trends and decline in new sales of paranormal romances, I haven’t been writing in the genre. Since we had complete control over the content, I took the chance to revisit my first love. It’s a story I was really interested in telling, so that was my opportunity.
KMJ: What advice would you give other aspiring writers?
AM: To never give up. Walking in stilettos takes time to learn, along with a few bruises along the way. I wouldn’t expect writing to be any other way.
KMJ: Lastly, what can readers expect next from you?
AM: Well, I have a few stories in the works. The first would be a sports romance, which is currently under consideration by a publisher, so hopefully that will be the next. My current work in progress is a contemporary romance about co-workers who begin a relationship and try to maintain professionalism. That one is fun to write. It’s always great to watch to strong willed people try to jockey for position. So, a couple of contemporary and we’ll see if I can get to another paranormal soon. I should mention, all are multicultural romances.
Aliza would love for you to join her and the other Falling Hard authors over on Facebook on 5/31 for their release party. Lots of fun and prizes to be had!
Click here to join: https://www.facebook.com/events/376131875905513/
And now here is an excerpt from Dark Hearts:
Aurora Tanner had told herself that she wouldn’t get into any mischief. She’d been friends with Hazel since she’d arrived, and with the assistance of Hazel’s witchcraft and multiple safety wards at the bridge to keep her father at bay, Aurora had managed to stay out of trouble.
This Mitch was trouble on a stick. He had the swagger of a hip-hop star, the looks of an actor, and the body of a god. When he’d walked up to her, the awkward moment of silence had made her want to jump him with both hands and feet. He sent her demon intuits into overdrive.
Something about him cracked her exterior. “Well, you’re standing here. What can I do for you, Mitch?” she asked, glancing around the room. There was no sign of demon handiwork, so she relaxed a little.
Mitch stepped into her personal space. Inhaling deeply, he stared at her. Unlike most men, he focused on her face. “Oh, baby, you’ve done a lot for me already,” he growled.
His eyes were different. The deep coal black of them reminded her of her father. Alchoe, her incubus father, had those eyes, along with the rest of their kind. Mitch wasn’t a demon, but she could tell that he wasn’t fully human. His dark hair languished in his face, making him look somehow both deadly and safe. “That was classy,” she said.
This man stood before her, seizing her and making her want to latch onto him. His deep-set eyes were Superman blue with an icy edge, framed by thick, full brows, giving him a sexy, dark look. His jaw line was pronounced. Thick tufts of dark brown hair framed his face, the close-cut sides highlighting his chiseled features.
Her panties were suddenly uncomfortable as he leaned into her, too close.
“If I had a choice, I would apologize. Doesn’t seem that I do. I noticed you from across the room. You’re . . . different than the other girls,” he said.
You can pick up Falling Hard here:
And you can find Aliza Mann on the web here in these cool places:
KMJ: Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.
AM: Thanks for having me, Kwana. It’s been a blast.
Happy Holidays! I hope you all are having a wonderful start to the holiday season. I’m hopping into it with bells on with a bunch of my favorite writer friends by participating in not 1 but 2 holiday blog hops! And of course I’m reluctantly pulling Jack along for the ride.
The 1st will be a fabulous Christmakwanzakah Blog Hop from December 8-19 (My day is Dec 12th) where me and other fabulous authors will be sharing original holiday themed short stories. How fun! Look out for tweets and notifications from me and be sure to stop by all the author’s blogs for a new story every day!
The next is a blog hop with the fabulous Smutketeers! This hop runs from December 9th -21st and I’ll be up on their blog on the 18th where you’ll see my greeting and can enter for a chance to win a 20.00 Amazon gift card! Stop by to see all the authors and enter every day and you’ll be eligible for a chance to win their big grand prize worth 300.00!
Whew, that’s a lot of hopping. I’m sure by the end you and me both will be ready for a spot under the tree with Jack.
Have a wonderful week and see you back here during the Holidays!
All the best,
There is Seduction to be had…
Please join me tonight, 11/12 at 9PM est for a Seduction’s Canvas Book Chat over on the private FB Team KMJ fan group. Just click on over and ask for an invite to join. We’d love to have you!
All the best,
Happy New Week and the summer flutters along, seeming to flitter away just out of my grasp, it’s going by so quickly. I hope it’s going a little slower and a bit more leisurely for you. This past weekend though I did get to enjoy a fun summer night heading to the Bronx to cheer on the Yankees and see The Captain #2 Derek Jeter in his final season. The family and I had a great time and the Yankees won too. It was fantastic all around!
Next week I have some more excitement coming up (and a bit of terror too if you know me). On Monday night August 4th I’m honored to have been invited to read at the fabulous Lady Jane’s Salon once again.
This time I’ll be reading my essay from Scribbling Women, the for Charity Anthology edited by Lady Jane founder Hope Tarr which I’m so proud to be a contributor to. If you are in New York please stop by. My essay is sure to embarrass my dear DH as it’s all about how we sleep together after 25 years. The poor man being married to a romance writer. LOL
But don’t just come to hear me, even better come to hear the other fantastic authors reading. There will be: Katana Collins, Alice Clayton and Sofia Tate making her Lady Jane’s debut! Yay!
All the best,
Me… Out and About
Happy New Week and Happy New Month!
This has been a busy few days with the annual book expo at the Jacob Javits Center. It was a bit tiring but also nice to see so many out and so much excitement going on about new and upcoming books. I was able to snap quits a few pics with my phone so I’ll let another collage do the talking for me here.
It was great to see come of my friends getting to sign copies of their books like Falguni Kothari with BOOTIE and THE BEAST and Eileen Palma with her debut WORTH THE WEIGHT. Also check me with the amazing Loretta Chase and do you see the legendary Ms. Brenda Jackson and Ginger Jamison and is that Tiffany Reisz and Megan Hart? Oh yeah! And down in the corner, yes that is THE Billy Idol. I know, insert earworm here. LOL. We had so much fun. And I’m totally blaming Falguni and Alyssa Cole for the Batman/Spiderman pic. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I’m excited to say that I’ll be signing copies of my books (Through the Lens, Seduction’s Canvas, Threads of Desire & Bounce) this month at The Romance Festival put on by my RWA/NYC RWA chapter and being held on June 14th at the historic Morris-Jumel house in Washington Heights in New York City from 1-4:30. The admission is free and there will be readings from the authors as well as some exciting talks and the books from many NYC authors available for purchase. If you’re in the city on that day please come on out and see us. Check this great line up:
The Morris-Jumel Mansion
65 Jumel Terrace
(between West 160th & 162nd Street)
Admission is FREE!
Anna DePalo (USA Today Best Selling Contemporary Romance Writer: The Romance Genre)
Elizabeth Mahon (Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History’s Most Notorious Women)
Carol Ward (Director Morris-Jumel Mansion: The Loves of Eliza Jumel)
For Love and Liberty:
Multicultural and LGBT Love Stories during the American Revolution
With – Stacey Agdern, Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart, and Kate McMurray
Tours of the Morris-Jumel Mansion will be available throughout the day!
Oh and finally this bit of coolness: My book is being featured on Tuesday June 3rd 2014 at eBookSoda, a new readers’ site where they’ll send you ebook recommendations tailored to your taste. www.ebooksoda.com. Check me out! Yay 🙂
Have a great day!
All the best,
Bounce is in print! (and I get a bit embarrassing) …
Let’s all hold hands for this shall we?
It’s finally here! Bounce is available in print and I’m a little over the moon about it!
So much so that I’ve gone and made a totally embarrassing unboxing video to express my feelings (no one was home and I had a not so bright idea about documenting a moment). Um, yeah, there’s a reason that I don’t do public speaking and you’ll all get to see it now. But at the encouragement of my Dear Son who was either moved by my video or wants others to share in his mother’s silliness I’m going to take a leap and go ahead and share.
Hey, I may not be blessed with the gift of gab, but I am happy to finally have my 1st step into self-publishing now in print as well as digitally available to share with all of you. Thanks so much to everyone who helped make this happen. I will forever be grateful. There are too many to mention, but I would like to give a heartfelt special thanks to the amazing Ms. Lauren Dane for her beautiful cover quote. I am so honored. Also a special thank you to Irene and Julie for their wonderful quotes. You ladies are fabulous!
Thanks, Thanks and more THANKS! This has been quite the journey.
BOUNCE with me people!
Available in print here
All the best,
A Writing Process Blog Tour
The fabulous and super talented Michelle Monkou tagged me in this writing process blog tour and as I do with all tag type things I froze but then realized we were not playing freeze tag so there you have it. I’m it… So RUN! No don’t run, sit a bit and read on about my process and how this writing thing works for me….Enjoy.
What am I working on?
Right now the world is my oyster since Threads of Desire is now out and Bounce is too (psst the print version is soon to come).
But the thing about the world being your oyster and all means the possibilities are endless and oh boy pretty shiny thing over there. But no, I must focus and work on one project at a time (Well maybe two). This year I’ve got a fun romantic comedy brewing and I’m working on a sequel for BOUNCE so there is all sorts of sexy fun suburbia intrigue coming that way.
How does my work differ from others of its genre? I think the difference in my work, like what others have said before me, is voice. People say all the stories have been told and I don’t know, for the most part that may be true. But I do know the stories have not been told my way. It’s always fun for me to find a new author with an exciting and new voice and I hope that now some folks are getting that feeling in my works too.
Why do I write what I do? I’ve always been a dreamer, making up stories in my head. I’ve also always been a fan of romance and contemporary women’s fiction so writing in this genre was a natural fit.
How does your writing process work?
Can I just say it’s a mystery?
As for work? I don’t know how well it works. I’m always looking for ways to streamline it and write now I’m taking a fantastic Scrivener class given my Gwen Hernandez to help me get my many writing thoughts into a more organized contained place.
I’d like to get to the point that I wake, up sit at the keyboard and the words flow like spring rain and not my usual open laptop, sit and stare. Blink. Go to kitchen come back. Sit, stare some more, reach for the faraway word. Write a sentence. Stare at screen. Walk to kitchen again. Go back to computer. Turn away. Flip TV on then Off. Check emails. Oh wait, Twitter! Look at clock an hour later panic then write a few hundred words. The character’s voices now too loud to be ignored a moment longer so I must write and quiet them down until the next day’s noise.
Yeah I’m thinking this process can be improved on dramatically. There are many stories to write and a smooth process will help it a bunch.
And now with me being it an all I have the fun job of tagging other writers so that they can share their processes with you. So I’m now tagging…
Synithia Williams: Synithia Williams has loved romance novels since reading her first one at the age of 13. It wasn’t until 2010 that she began to actively pursue her publishing dreams. Her first novel, You Can’t Plan Love was published in August 2012 by Crimson Romance. When she isn’t writing, this local government gal, works to improve air and water quality, while balancing the needs of her husband and two sons. www.SynithiaWilliams.com
Jeanine McAdam : : Jeanine McAdam is a writer of twenty-five romantic short stories, a few spicy anthologies and three cowboy books. Telling stories about imperfect people finding perfect love is her thing. She’s currently writing about bull riders and the spunky urban women who love them in her Skirts and Spurs Trilogy. www.JeanineMcAdam.com
Falguni Kothari: Born and bred in Mumbai, Falguni Kothari currently lives in New York with her family and an utterly spoiled dog. She’s the author of BOOTIE AND THE BEAST (April 2014 via Harlequin Mills and Boon,) IT’S YOUR MOVE, WORDFREAK! and SCRABBULOUS IMPRESSIONS, a short story. www.FalguniKothari.com
All the best,
Working for the Weekend!
Happy Friday and Happy weekend! Wishing you all a bright and sunny one and one where there is hopefully a nice warm up for all of us. Please no snow and no ice storms. Let’s keep it nice and light, shall we?
This weekend I’ll be, I’m sure (since I already am), a little verklempt since my lovely DD will be heading off to France for her semester abroad. There will no doubt be a teary goodbye but I’ll try to save the full on waterworks for the car ride home. I’m just hopeful that she learns a lot, stays safe and has the time of her life. France, please be good to my baby.
As for today please join me over at the newly launched Romance at Ramdom site where I’m getting real and talking BOUNCE. And speaking of BOUNCE, if you haven’t bounced in yet now is the perfect time since I’m holding a kick up your heels $0.99 for a limited time. Enjoy!
All the best,
image from we heart it.