Saturday, March 22, 2014

BOOTIE and the BEAST pre-release GIVEAWAY.

To celebrate the pre-release of my Harlequin Mills and Boon romance


I bring you a fabulous chance to win a brand new
KINDLE loaded with both my romance novels 
or 5 chances to win a paperback or an e-book of 
Bootie and the Beast.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One good turn deserves another, so do encourage your friends to enter.
Sign up for my newsletter for coming surprises.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Hark! Author at work!

Much thanks to the boisterous K M Jackson for inviting me along on this blog tour and for always being so happy and encouraging in all things. And for getting me hooked on Scandal
Paying it forward, I encourage you all to check out Kwana's musings about the writing process and her books at Kwana Writes. I have just finished her self-published novel, Bounce, and I have to say I abso-loved it!

Now, as for this blog tour, I will attempt to answer the questions that have been bouncing about the Internet since...whenever this tour started.

What am I working on?

Shockingly, working on many things to do with the writing business though I'm not seriously writing (a story) at the moment. I have a book releasing in early April (big cheerleading shoutout) and am going insane trying to decide how much or how little time, money and effort I ought to be pouring into its promotions. Of course, I seem to have gone a bit overboard with Book Trailers (never realized how much fun they are to create.) So, here's one for your enjoyment.

What else am I working on? I have recently finished a manuscript and am in the process of finding a publisher. Plus, my head is bursting full of an unconventional love story that I am desperate to pen down...right now! But I won't/can't until Bootie and the Beast releases.

How does my work differ from the others of its genre?

The more things seem different, the more they are the same. I believe that to be true and I think my writing emulates that belief. My characters might be products of diverse cultures and my story might be steeped in cultural mores but love, hatred, passion, apathy, revenge, good and evil...any and all human traits transcend culture. So while my work might seem differently flavored from others of its genre...I think its core would be the same.
Undeniably, I bring my own brand of culture...or rather, multi-culture into my stories, as I am an EU National of Indian descent living in the USA. I am fascinated by the human psyche. Why a person does what he does or makes the choices he makes? In the simplest of terms: what makes a person tick? I consider myself an amateur philosopher, anthropologist, historian and mythologist and try and work some of those threads through my stories, always. 

Why do I write what I do?

It's the HEA! The Happily-Ever-After at the end that I love so much and so I must write romances. As I mentioned before, I obsess over mythology and that lures me down the path of fantasy. Now, what could be more appetizing than a fantasy steeped in myths with a brilliant love story threaded through it? Nothing, Peeps. Nothing.

How does your writing process work?

Like a movie playing in my head. What I mean is, I picture the scene as a movie in my head first. I guess I think in visuals. The words are but a description of that scene my mind directed and produced. When I am deep into the craft mode or writing mode, I even dream plot lines or the next move my character should or shouldn't make. Its rather disconcerting sometimes as my dreaming is not restricted to slumber-time.  I could very well be driving to the grocery store in the dead of a winter afternoon and suddenly find myself in Bermuda at sunset with hot, pink sand under my feet and salty air in my mouth...sometimes with a scimitar in my hands. Which is why I more or less become a recluse when I am in writing mode.

And thats it for this round of questions about my writing process. Before I sign off, I shall tag the next writer to carry the torch of this blog tour forward. Be sure to look for her blog post this friday, Peeps. 

Photo credit: Besa Photography
Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was fortuitous in many ways since this is where she met her husband, had two sons, and became a writer.  She has since published eight e-books, including a momoir for first time mothers, Mommy But Still Me; a guide for aspiring writers, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies; a short story collection, Coloured and Other Stories; and a novel about women’s friendships, Saving Peace.

Her coming of age novel, An Unlikely Goddess, won the SheWrites New Novelist competition in 2011.

Her recent books have focused on various aspects of life in Qatar. From Dunes to Dior, named as a Best Indie book in 2013, is a collection of essays related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf. Love Comes Later was the winner of the Best Indie Book Award for Romance in 2013 and is a literary romance set in Qatar and London. The Dohmestics is an inside look into compound life, the day-to-day dynamics between housemaids and their employers.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Holi: the festival of colorrrishous fun.

WHERE: Mostly the north half of India.

WHEN: Day after the first full moon in March (usually.)

WHY: Well, there are many reasons. The more mundane ones are that HOLI signifies the end of winter, the Spring harvest and bounty. Mythologically, HOLI can be attributed to:
1. The immolation of the demoness HOLIKA, who on behest of her demon-king brother, HIRANYAKASHIPU, tried to assassinate her nephew, PRAHALAD, a devotee of LORD VISHNU. Vishnu saves Prahalad and sets aflame HOLIKA instead. The good old Good vs. Evil myth.
2. Another one is how a bunch of kids from the village of PRTHU,  supernaturally aided by LORD SHIVA, managed to run-off a big, bad ogress DHUNDHI.
3. HOLI-day is also the day when LORD SHIVA (the god of destruction) opened his THIRD EYE and set fire to LORD KAMA  (the god of love) for interfering in his business.
4. MY favorite by far of these HOLI myths is about KRISHNA-RADHA.
Out of jealousy, the young Lord Krishna (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) asked his mother YASHODA why Radha (a village belle and his first love...some say his only great love) was so pretty and fair and he so dark. Yashoda shook her head in exasperation and told him to go paint Radha's face to match his own or vice versa. Krishna, always willing to play mischief on the village belles, thoroughly enjoyed coloring Radha with red mud from the banks of the river. And so, to this day,  the great love of Krishna-Radha is celebrated on HOLI with GULAL, dance and music. Not to mention, BHANG (a drink prepared from the leaves and flowers of Cannabis.)

HOW: In earlier times, Gulal was made from the flowers of a tree called the FLAME OF THE FOREST. Quite apt, as Gulal is mostly the colors of fire: red, orange, saffron, yellow etc. Though, in recent times any and all colors are thrown about. Anyway, the Gulal and AABIR (made from natural colored talc) that were used in medieval times were actually good for the complexion and not the synthetic, chemical powders of today that sometimes cause allergic reactions on skin. Then there's the PICHKARI, elaborate water pistols, to soak the color into the HOLI-players, who in their white outfits are like canvases just waiting to be color-splashed by artists. 

Hordes of happy people on the streets, colors, song, dance, water-fights...Yes, it is as fun as it sounds and is about the only festival of India I truly miss in NY (Don't believe me, watch the video I've posted above.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


It's a wrap on the final cover.

Bootie and the Beast 

on sale in early April 2014.

Follow the trials and tribulations of 
Diya Mathur and Krish Menon 
until their Happy-Ever-After, and meet with veteran lovers Alisha and Aryan Chawla along the way.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


As a reader, I always wondered how an author penned a book. How did Jane Austen plot Pride and PrejudiceDid she imagine the story first and drew the characters second? Did she imagine Elizabeth first or Darcy? Was Wickham her inspiration? Did she draw on real people, real experiences? And if all characters are nothing but their author’s alter ego, then how could Lizzie and Emma and Catherine and Fanny and Anne all be different?

The truth is it’s both internal and external for an author. It’s observation and experience, research and imagination, plotting and deviating from the plot. Ask a hundred authors what inspires them or about their method of writing and you will get a hundred (times 10) different answers.

Some write in bursts, others every day. Some write while sober, others while intoxicated. There are depressed writers, happy authors, night writers and day writers. Some write epics in coffee shops and make the franchise famous, others from the comfort of their beds. Some write when inspiration hits while some just sit down and write. Some outline while others write by the seat of their pants. For some creativity is hard work and for others it’s second nature. A book whose author never went to school can do as sensationally as one whose author had a double PhD. I believe that a writer will write his story and that story will find a reader.

What I’m getting at is that there is no Write Way. There is only write and write and write every day.

For me personally, I tend to imagine my characters first. Who are they? What makes them tick? How do they look? What baggage do they carry? What do they want out of life? What might life teach them? I imagine the characters until they become my best friends and then I give them their story.

(pics and gifs: random search online)