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!
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
“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.
Pre-order your copy of TO ME I WED today!
All the best,
Hello peeps! I’m so sorry it’s been a minute since I’ve been here, but I’ve been a busy bee as you will soon see and I’m wishing you all well and hoping for Spring to bring us warmer weather and sunshine soon (I say this as I look out my window at falling snow, yet again, and take antibiotics fighting off an ear infection).
Yeah I’m over Winter.
All that said, there are some bright spots. I have some fantastic deal news that I can finally share. I’m so thrilled to say my lovely and fearless editor at Kensington Books is taking me on for two more novels in a brand new fish out of water small town series! The series will be the SUGAR LAKE series and the first book is tentatively titled:
As Good As The First Time (release date to come- see the pic of the deal announcement below).
And if you follow me here or on other forms of social media (twitter @kwanawrites or Facebook ) you’ll know I had an article in a local paper which I have come to find was shared with another local paper and, funny how these things go, was seen by Jack’s vet. Well yesterday I nearly broke out in tears when I got this sweet note from Jack’s vet office. I tell you people can be so kind and generous at times. And I’m so grateful for that. Talk about a proud moment of being a fur baby’s mama!
Thanks for hanging with me and all the support. You don’t know how much it means to me. Or maybe you do.
I think you might. Once again I hope all is well where you are.
Sending wishes of Lovely Reading!
All the best,
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.
So INSERT GROOM HERE (book 1) which is out now is just the beginning of the fun for the
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!
Thanks so much!
All the best,
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.
You can pick up your copy of INSERT GROOM HERE Book 1 of the
Unconventional Brides where ever books are sold !
And a bonus don’t forget: please subscribe to my mailing list on the right and click below to enter this
Hint: it’s FIRE! (Kindle Fire)
All the best,
Today is one of those days where the life I’m living feels quite unlikely. A woman like me starts to think and reverts back to the girl I was growing up in Harlem and Washington Heights. Back then I spent almost as much time on the ‘A’ train as I did off of it as I commuted back and forth to school. In those days I always had my nose in a book and if a book wasn’t to be had I would erase my surroundings and retreat to the way back of my imagination and come up with a story of my very own. On the train there were plenty of characters for story fodder.
Well today a story of my very own is out and released into the world in a way that is almost beyond my dreams.
INSERT GROOM HERE is my first single title and the first in my Unconventional Brides Series and here is the kicker, this book being release from Kensington publishing is the first for me that will be out in book stores and retail outlets and holy crackers there are even some libraries that will carry it! The thought of it overwhelms me. The thought that there may be another girl out there growing up somewhere like I did, who at a certain point may desperately need an escape from her everyday life on the commuter train or a home life which is not the fairy-tale her mask pretends it to be. The fact that she may find that escape in one of my books that she happens upon with a heroine that happens to look like her makes me so very happy.
I am grateful to God to have made it to this point in my career and know I have so much further to go, both in my writing and in helping to make more of these types of stories more equally accessible to the public.
But for now, today, I know day dreaming is not for nothing. Dreaming combined with work can lead to a moment of fulfillment greater than I ever imagined.
And now for the pluggy part about my book:
INSERT GROOM HERE Book #1 the
Unconventional Brides Series
Eva Ward has won a lavish wedding on the nation’s hottest morning show and can’t wait to kick off her
happily-ever-after in style. Too bad her fiancé backs out on-air—and cameraman Aidan Walker makes sure her private meltdown goes viral, down to the last couch-kicking moment. The only way Eva can save face and keep her perfect nuptial plans on track is to star in a new “find-a-groom” reality segment. But finding Mr. Right in one month means ignoring her handsome new producer—none other than Aidan himself—and getting their instant, exasperating attraction out of her system…
Eva soon finds there’s a lot more to Aidan than freewheeling charm. But one glimpse of his caring side can’t make up for off-camera politics, Aidan’s own secrets—or Eva’s fear that they’re too different to ever trust each other. So it’s time for her to flip this script, write twists no one will see coming—and risk her heart to get the real thing…
Be one of the first to be introduced to the
Unconventional Brides and grab your copy today where ever books are sold !
And a bonus: please subscribe to my mailing list on the right and click below to enter this month’s giveaway!
Hint: it’s FIRE! (Kindle Fire)
All the best,
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!
All the best,
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!
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).
You can Pre-order INSERT GROOM HERE at any of these retailers.
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2gwFuas
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!
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!
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.
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,
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,
Ok so this happened. HOLIDAY TEMPTATION came out and no fooling, the publishers weren’t kidding with me, but it is out and in bookstores just like they said.
At this point in my career seeing my name on a book on a shelf was still something I dreamed of but it had become a dream in the far back corner or my mind, about two feet to the left and behind the box that says ‘GET BACK TO COLLEGE GRADUATION WEIGHT’. But today I went into my local Barnes and Noble, the one I’d been in countless times before with my dear twins since they were tiny tots, and there it was. Right up high on the romance shelves, face out no less with the other new releases.
Holy crap HOLIDAY TEMPTATION was there! And it was next to Hannah Howell and one book over from Madeline Hunter. The way I nearly swooned one would think I’d taken to day drinking. But this feeling was better than any drink. This was the feeling of a dream not deferred, but one come true after years of hard work, more rejections than I could count or take so I just stopped counting them, and a determined spirit and faith that boarded on nonsensical so only those with faith or little sense would dare understand.
Thank you all for sticking with me and understanding.
Now what to do with that blasted GRADUATION WEIGHT box?
All the best,