Book Blitz: Truly, Madly, Crazily In Love by Esha Pandey










Print Length: 141 pages
Publication Date: July 25, 2020
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Romance


Blurb

What happens when you can’t let your first love go? What happens when you keep hoping that the one that got away, will be yours again…forever?


Sue is short, vivacious and dreamy. Viv is tall, spirited and focussed. Dressed to the nines on School Social, she bewitches him. He kisses her. She kisses him back. They fall in love. But the kiss that should have sealed their love, becomes their undoing. 


Sue is truly, madly and crazily in love with him. There is no one like Viv. She pines for him, but he can’t be hers. Days go by and she is still head over heals in love with him. 


When she finally lets him go and is ready to start over, he walks into her life again. 


Hearts are broken. Promises are shattered. Lives are wrecked. Love is tested. 


In a tale transcending time, Sue and Viv weave a story of love like none other. Will hope, trust and love win the test of time? From Lucknow, to Delhi to London, will Sue finally have her happily ever after? Read this sweet romance to find out.


Read the Excerpt

Excerpt 1:

Sukirti lingered on at the gate a bit longer than necessary. She wondered if her mother had noticed how she was lost in her thoughts when she walked in. She certainly didn’t comment on it. Sukirti went directly to her room. She had never experienced the kind of rush she felt with Vaibhav. When she was pressed to him on impact because of the speed breaker, it was as if her whole body had exploded. She was tingling wherever her body had touched his. She knew this was different than anything she had ever known. She remembered her elder cousin Garima telling her about her boyfriend and how he made her feel. At that time, she had not thought it was possible to feel like you were on fire. That day, she understood.


Was she developing a crush on Vaibhav?

Excerpt 2:


That smile was his undoing. He had fallen madly in love with Sukirti, the girl with a golden heart and the prettiest eyes. He couldn’t dare to lose her friendship, so he never complicated their relationship. It was difficult to believe that it had only been three months since they knew each other. They were inseparable. Their classmates and friends teased them, and boys even made kissing sounds when they were alone with Vaibhav, but he maintained that they were friends. In fact, Sukirti had never given him any reason to believe otherwise. She was a perfect friend and never lead him on to believe that she felt more for him. Once, when they were talking on the phone and somehow the conversation had moved to friendship and love, he had come very close to confessing his feelings to her, but his mother’s knock on the door had saved him just in time. 

“Of course, we will talk on the phone Sue, but practicing like this is much better na,” he said, hiding his disappointment at her not being as affected as he was. All he could do was hope that she would come for the farewell. He had something special planned for her.


Excerpt 3:

“Sir, please proceed towards Gate No. 74. There was a last-minute change in the boarding gate for your flight,” the ground staff said politely. What the fuck! He had postponed his boarding to the last minute and now the gate had been changed. His heart was beating fast as he pushed his trolley bag and walked quickly towards Gate No. 74. As he reached the gate, he realized there was a lot of rush because of the last-minute gate change. Though the first-class passengers were given priority over others, he still managed to bump into a hassled girl with a bang. Both liquor bottles went flying and the trolley bag hit him in his shin, hard. 


He was waiting for the crashing sound of the bottles and when that didn’t happen, he looked up to find dark kohled eyes, smoothened shoulder length hair, oxidized jewelry and red lips glaring at the mess he had caused. 


SUE!!!


His heart stopped beating. 


“What the hell? Where do you think you are going?” Sue looked up at him. Her eyes expanded in amazement when it registered that she had bumped into Vaibhav. Reining in her galloping heart at the right moment, Sue enquired if he was alright.


“Yes, I am perfectly fine, but my duty-free loot might be a different story.” He picked up the packet and sighed with relief when he found them to be okay. He signaled a thumbs up to Sue.


“What are you doing here? Are you on this flight?” Sue was shaken. Not visibly so, but she was. She had gotten very good at hiding her emotions and it would take a professional to know that she was experiencing euphoria and dread at the same time on meeting Vaibhav. 

Before he could reply, a ground crew member came forward and rushed him to the counter and he could only wave at Sue while she was also being rushed at the Economy Counter.

The moment the seat belt sign switched off, the stewardess came to escort the girl sitting next to Sue. Vaibhav popped into the seat next to her immediately after. 

 






    

Esha Pandey, is an author and a police officer. She made her debut as an author with her book I Will Meet You There, a collection of short stories.


Esha is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 2010 batch. She has a Masters in International Relations and Masters of Philosophy in American Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Before becoming a civil servant, she dabbled with the idea of being a journalist and worked with Times of India as a copyeditor. She has won a United Nations FPA Award for Excellence for the “Best Short Story”. 


Esha has kept her passion for writing alive through her tough assignments in policing because writing is music for her soul. Her TDH hero is her partner for life, her husband Rajiv, who supports her in all her endeavors. When she is not doing either, policing or writing, she is busy dealing with her two bundles of naughtiness, her sons. 


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TBC Spotlight: My Last Love Story by Falguni Kothari

Romance writer, urban fantasy writer Falguni Kothari is back…Rated T for Tears!

 

My Last Love Story 

by 

Falguni Kothari


Blurb 

 

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’s, Me Before You, My Last Love Story is a heartbreaking and poignant tale about the complexities of trauma and whether love can right a wrong.***

I, Simeen Desai, am tired of making lemonade with the lemons life has handed me.

Love is meant to heal wounds.

Love was meant to make my world sparkle and spin.

Love has ripped my life apart and shattered my soul.

I love my husband, and he loves me.

But Nirvaan is dying.

I love my husband. I want to make him happy.

But he is asking for the impossible.

I don’t want a baby.

I don’t want to make nice with Zayaan.

I don’t want another chance at another love story.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

 Falguni Kothari is a New York-based hybrid author, and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a semi-professional background in Indian Classical dance. She writes in a variety of genres sewn together by the colorful and cultural threads of her South Asian heritage and expat experiences. When not writing or dancing, she fools around on all manner of social media and loves to connect with readers.My Last Love Story is her fourth novel.

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Confessions of an incurable Hiddlestoner

I suffer from a serious condition. It’s incurable. It’s an addiction. It’s my life. I’m a Hiddlestoner – and I have a confession to make.

tom.hiddleston.skull.island

 Today, we have the supremely talented romance writer, and my good friend from across the pond, Devika Fernando who is here to talk about her not so secret love– Hiddlestonitis. 

Every book I write has been inspired by Tom Hiddleston. Every book I read, every story that captures my attention, reminds me of him. Heck, I end up comparing all men to him: Thomas William Hiddleston. Stealer of hearts, lover of pudding, Shakespeare-enthusiast, word-magician, destroyer of ovaries, versatile actor, living inspiration, man of countless talents and secrets.

Why are all of my heroes inspired by him, and why do I love him? There are reasons, probably more than you want to hear. But now that I’ve started, I’m afraid I might never stop. And by the end of this post, you’ll happily join the club.

Tom Hiddleston is a man of many faces. And I don’t just mean that he looks hot with or without glasses, that he’s handsome with long black hair just like with floofy blond curls or with perfectly styled ginger scruff.

I mean that he can switch from sophisticated and suave – killing you with that polished English accent and oozing oodles of politeness – to singing a song, dancing his heart out or breaking into a spot-on impersonation of a celebrity. I love it that he can slip into lecture mode in a heartbeat, diving into his vast knowledge of literature (and many other topics) to bring something alive within minutes that teachers have unsuccessfully been trying to install in your brain for ages.

I love it that he can be a nerd at one moment and impossibly cool the next, that he supports charity, is passionate about equality, and generous to his fans. It’s endlessly fascinating that he switches from a six-year-old child with bubbling excitement to a teenager with a shit-eating grin and naughty wink to a gorgeous man charming the heck out of men and women alike.

How can anyone be so serious, so understanding, so well-mannered, so quietly strong, so sexy, so humble, so genuine, so dedicated, so charismatic, so thoughtful? It’s magic, I tell you, and I’m completely under his spell.

And don’t get me talking about his voice (Heaven on earth! He could read the phone book to me and I’d swoon.) or his hands (Big, and you know what that means. *wink*) or his eyes or that sassy eyebrow that has a life of its own or his snake hips…or any part of his anatomy?

Hang on ladies, for I haven’t even gotten to the good parts.

Tom Hiddleston – When will the Oxford Dictionary accept his name as a synonym for perfection? Can we sign a petition for that? – can act. He can ACT the bloody hell out of any role. Deliciously dangerous Asgardian villain? Check! Mysterious soldier? Check! Tortured baronet? Check! Suicidal vampire? Check! Irresistible spy? Check! King / knight in shining armour? Check! Yodeling Yankee? Check! Swoonworthy Victorian hero? Check! Dashing yet deranged doctor? Check! Relentless Roman general? Check! And there are a million more roles that show just how much potential this incredible man has stored away.

Still not completely taken in by the man who’s simultaneously ruined and made my life? You’re a tough cookie, aren’t you? Cookies… see, I can’t even think of something as harmless as cookies without remembering Tom Hiddleston teaching the Cookie Monster about delayed gratification on Sesame Street. Yup, I’m a goner, a Hiddlestoner… Just like the lovely lady who wrote this poignant post.

This. This right here is another reason why I can’t help feeling inspired by Tom Hiddleston:

tomh

Is it any wonder that he is part of all the books I write?

The protagonist most strongly influenced by Tom is Daniel from SAVED IN SRI LANKA. I gave him an innate kindness, a love for books and poetry, and an insatiable hunger for knowledge (as well as a deep and sensual voice, mile-long legs, ginger hair and blue-grey-green eyes). Joshua from the FIRE TRILOGY has Tom’s calm strength and uncanny ability to make everyone listen, and the anti-hero Kyle from the same series was inspired by Tom’s remarkable performance as Loki. Michael from WHEN I SEE YOUR FACE is as caring, calm on the outside but deep on the inside and supportive of women as Tom. Lucas from KALEIDOSCOPE OF HOPES has derived his enigmatic charm, ruthless drive and regal bearing from Tom.

And Alejandro, the determined and irresistible hero from my latest romance novel SEDUCED IN SPAIN, gives life to Tom Hiddleston’s answer to an interview question, “a good boy in certain situations, and a bad boy in others”. Not only does Tom influence how I write my heroes, he is also one of the reasons why I write and publish, why I believe in myself and in creativity.

And really, do I need any other reason to love him?

Do you?

Thank you Devika, for reminding me once again what I LOVE about this man. And for popping over. We wish you all the best with the release of SEDUCED IN SPAIN! 

Xx

Writer Gal

About Devika:

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Having always loved to read and write, Devika Fernando made her dream come true in 2014 when she became a self-published novelist. The Amazon bestselling author has released several eBooks in the genres of contemporary romance, paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Her German and Sri Lankan roots influence her writing.

She loves to talk to fellow Hiddlestoners (ok, others too!) on Facebook and Twitter

 

 

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Spotlight: Soul Warrior: Book One: The Age of Kali by Falguni Kothari

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Soul Warrior: Age of Kali 

 

by 
Falguni Kothari
 
Blurb
Fight fate, or succumb to destiny?
In the dark Age of Kali, the Soul Warrior alone stands guard over the Human Realm, protecting its denizens from evil-willed asuras or demons. When a trick of fate appoints him guru to a motley crew of godlings, he agrees to train them as demon hunters against his better judgment. Suddenly, Lord Karna is not only battling the usual asuras with sinister agendas, but also rebellious students and a fault-ridden past.
Spanning the cosmic realms of mythic India, here is a tale of a band of supernatural warriors who come together over a singular purpose: the salvation of Karna’s secret child.
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Excerpt

 
Kuru Kshetra Battlefield.
Day 17 of the Great Kuru War, seven thousand five hundred years ago.
Death is hot.
That surprises me. I’d imagined death as cold and brutal. Merciless. But in truth, death is hot as blood, and constant like a heartbeat.
Thrum. Thrum. Thrum. My lifeblood ebbs to the rhythm. My head ripped from its torso by Anjalika, the arrow of death that burns even now with the energy of the sun. Struck from behind like some novice. Felled in battle by that lily-livered usurper the Heavens smile upon—Prince Arjun. Brother Arjun.
What have I done?
I harness the thought. Cease all reflection and wrench free of my mortal body. I soar up, up into the gloaming, snapping the ties that tether me to life. Dead, I have no use for ties.
“A matter of perspective, Karna, O son of my godsire.” The unearthly words strum through the air, and I quiver like a plucked bowstring, overcome as much by the voice as its blasphemous claim. “Bonds of devotion nourish the soul, brother.”
There is that word again. Brother. Unpleasant laughter wells up in me. Alive, I am abandoned, denied my birthright—Celestial or royal. Death, it seems, changes everything.
A bright, nebulous light brings forth Lord Yama, the God of Death, atop his divine mount. His elephantine thighs ripple beneath a silken dhoti, ochre and crimson of color, as he guides the mammoth water buffalo to a halt. An iron medallion sways against the God’s powerful cerulean torso, its center stone an ethereal blood orange.
Hypnotic. Pulsing with life. I am drawn to the stone.
“Piteous waste,” Lord Yama mutters, surveying the carnage of war far below us.
I trace the trajectory of his gaze and behold the battered remains of my army drenched in the evidence of its mortality. Is it true? Have we died in vain?
Words form inside me and I will them out. “Shall we go, my lord?”
 “Ha! Impatient to be judged, are you? Anxious to have your fate revealed?” asks the Judge of the Hell Realm. His red-black eyes burn with intelligence and compassion in a blue-tinged face that is long and lean and hard. “Rest easy, brother-warrior. You are not bound for the Great Courtroom.”
Not bound for Hell? Where then? Fear has eluded me for so long that I take a moment to recognize it. A hollow-bellied feeling it is, as annoying as a bone stuck in my throat.
“My lord, I have done bad deeds…terrible deeds in my life. I have waged wars, this horrendous bloodshed, and all because my pride could not—would not abide rejection. I have sinned. I must atone for my actions.”
Lord Yama smiles in a way I do not like. “You have redeemed yourself admirably, Karna. You forfeited your life for the greater good today. The deed far outweighs any misguided ones. Be at peace, brother, and enjoy the fruits of your karma.”
There is but one place to enjoy such fruits—the Higher Worlds.
I’d rather burn in Hell for eternity. I say so. “I won’t live amongst the Celestials.” Coexisting with the very souls who’ve spurned me is unthinkable. Watching her—for she would surely reside in Heaven soon—will be eternal torture.
Yama shakes his head, the horns on his crown slashing to and fro. “I thought you might say that. Relax. Your destiny lies elsewhere.”
 “Am I to be reborn then? Am I to begin a new life, and forget the past?” Pain, sharp as a blade, lances through me at the thought. Forget my past? My family? Even her? Was that my punishment? To forget all that made me human?
It must be so. For have I not betrayed them as surely as I’ve betrayed my prince regent?
“Human rebirth is not your destiny, either. You are chosen, brother. Your war skills are needed for a higher purpose.” The God slips off his mount, his garments rustling in agitation. “This unjust war has pushed the Cosmos to the vortex of a cataclysm. Tomorrow, the Kuru War will end. Fearing its outcome, the Celestials rolled the Die of Fate and have unwittingly bestowed on Demon Kali untold powers.” Lord Yama bares his fangs in disgust at the foolish gamble. “Imagine the havoc that asura and his minions will wreak on the weak if left unchecked. The Human Realm must be safeguarded during Kali’s dark reign.”
 I can imagine the horror only too well as I have battled with evil all my life. But I am done with wars. I am done with defeat. I won’t waste another lifetime fighting.
“With due respect, my lord, I am not the man for this task.”
 “You are not a man at all,” Yama thunders, fists shaking. “You are the son of Surya, the Sun God. Accept that you are no ordinary soul.”
 I say nothing. I think nothing. I feel something but I squash it down.
Lord Yama’s thick black brows draw together. “Demon Kali will try to pervade every particle of good that exists in the Cosmos, beginning with the corruptible Human Realm. Once he obliterates all of humanity, he’ll set his sights on the Celestials. Kali will not stop until he’s destroyed our way of life. But you can stop him. You are light to his darkness. Do you understand now why you had to betray him? Your beloved humans need you, Karna. I need you. Our father believes in you. Claim your rightful place in the Cosmos.”
 Impatiently, Lord Yama removes the iron medallion from his neck and holds it out. The vermillion sunstone glows as if its soul is on fire. Nay! It is my soul that is on fire.
Indescribable energy curls through me. I gasp, though not in pain. I shudder and feel myself grow large, grow hot. Was this rebirth?
I am strong, full-bodied and lethal once more. Then I roar as light bursts forth from my very core and I throb with glorious, blinding power. When I come to myself, my world has changed again. Bubbles of color shimmer all around me: cobalt and saffron, azure and rose. By karma! They are souls. Infinite floating souls.
“Behold the spectrum of life: the worthy, the notorious, the righteous and the sinners.” The God of Death’s soul was a worthy sapphire blue with a tinge of silver. “Your duty, should you choose to accept the office of the Soul Warrior, is to hunt down the red-souled asuras and crush them. Whatever you decide, I wish you a long and successful Celestial existence, Karna,” Yama booms out and vanishes into the purpling sky.
The parley has stunned me. The world of color holds me in thrall. I was dead. Yet, now I am not. A new path lies before me. Unwanted, unwelcome, I insist on principle. I close my eyes. Open them to stare at the medallion cupped in my hand—a golden-hued hand at once familiar and not—and know myself for a fool. I do want this. It’s what I am.
Bastard-born. Rebel. Son. Husband. Father. Warlord. And protector. I fist the talisman, buoyed by its concrete warmth. This is who I am.
I am the Soul Warrior.

 

About the Author

Falguni Kothari is a New York-based hybrid author, and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a semi-professional background in Indian Classical dance. She writes in a variety of genres sewn together by the colorful and cultural threads of her South Asian heritage and expat experiences. She is published in India in contemporary fiction with global e-book availability, and launches her mythic fantasy series, the Age of Kali, with SOUL WARRIOR. When not writing, dancing or being a domestic goddess, she fools around on all manner of social media, and loves to connect with readers.

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Book Review of Rescued By Love by Shilpa Suraj (Mills&Boon)

…And it is good!

rbl

There are a few writers who enrich your life with their words, stories and vivid imagination. Then there are writers whose books you actively wish you could have written. And the last, a very rare breed of writers, whom you want to befriend just because they write stories you wish you’d written that enrich your life.

Shilpa Suraj is that rare breed of writer.

In her second M&B romance Rescued by Love (which I read first on a personal request from Shilpa) we get to meet that hero we all love to fall in love with — Lt. Col. Arjun Malhotra. Tough, stoic, handsome and with a heart as gooey as melted chocolate. He rescues the heroine Naina from a kidnapping in the harsh terrain of Ladakh (I cannot help but think of Kingdom Come and Krivi Iyer) and she falls for his particular kind of bravery instantly.

Who wouldn’t?

He is exactly that perfect.

Naina has been the cossetted, pampered and yet unloved daughter of – a man who will break rather than bend as he sentences a notorious terrorist to death and has his daughter kidnapped in retribution. He is upset with her for getting into this terrible situation instead of being sick with worry over her safety and life. Her mother is no better, kowtowing to the father’s every whim instead of speaking her own mind and insisting that the daughter do the same: Marry an ‘appropriate’ guy that her father has picked out so she can live a comfortable life.

In her first act of rebellion, Naina goes to Ladakh and promptly gets taken hostage and then rescued by yummy Arjun and his awesome colleagues. And over the course of the trek that brings her back home, she finds her heart stolen by the soldier who puts duty and honor above everything else. The very thing that attracts her to him is the very thing that will keep them apart.

It’s a delicious dilemma that is further aided by Naina’s refusal to bend down to her father’s dictates as she is finally dumped back home with a broken heart and stubborn hope of changing her own future.

If I reveal any more, I risk giving out spoilers and I would like to avoid that. Suffice it to say that when Naina grows a spine and meets Arjun again in vastly different circumstances (of course, they do!) the drama and tension are even higher than they were amid all the bullets in Ladakh.

Falling in love is, after all, more dangerous than being rescued from militant terrorists.

The thing I loved the most about Rescued is its simple language which grabs you by the throat from scene one and refuses to let go till you reach the end. The other thing is the character growth arc of Naina from a doormat personality with no clue about her own desires to a woman who makes the right choices for the right reasons. And well, if I gush any more about Arjun I will be accused of biased favoritism, but Shilpa, seriously couldn’t you have at least given him a mole or something to detract from that hero-like perfection?

I also love that the mom has been relegated to a secondary character with no name at all, signifying how little impact she has on her daughter’s life and her husband’s commanding presence, not to mention Aditya. Read him, y’all. You’ll want him to have his own book, guaranteed.

If there is a tiny wrinkle with the book, I’d say that it has too few moments of passion (and one very ill-timed one) but it takes absolutely nothing away from the story or its characters.

Four and a half stars (Half a star taken for the minimal sex scenes)

Book Review of The One That Got Away by Priyanka Menon (Harlequin)

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Priyanka Menon is my friend. Priyanka Menon is a romance writer. Priyanka Menon is a romance writer and my friend AND an accomplished spoken-word poet in her own right, but the one thing that pleasantly surprised me as I started reading “The One That Got Away” was that she is a GOOD romance writer. Friend pride and prejudice aside, a good story can only hold your attention and interest and The One does all that and more.

Meet Mithi. She is an artist living in Paris who’s come down to Aamchi Mumbai for her besties’ – Geet and Karan’s – wedding. They have all been friends forever (since school) and the fourth point in the quartet is Jairam Nair. Mithi’s best BFF in school and someone she hasn’t seen since the last day of.

I call Shyamita Bose, Mithi, just like Jai does, because she is sweet and nice and fragile. The fragile is backed up by a spine of steel when necessary, as any heroine should be but mostly I call her Mithi cuz it is such a happy sound. Points for that, Priyanka.

Anyway, Mithi and Jai, (national bestselling author, all-round hunk) meet at the wedding. An awkward first meeting ensues in which both are not just tongue-tied but actively seeing each other as desirable people. This process is helped by not being in touch for more than a decade and thus, not having to deal with the minutiae of facial hair, waxing, having boobs and chest hair and what not.

Their chemistry is palpable but shocking, not to anyone but themselves.

In the grand tradition of a big, fat, Punjabi wedding we are slowly and quietly introduced to the single point break of what had been an unbreakable friendship. The painful teenage yearning of falling in love for the first time (and the last) is expressed beautifully and contrasts nicely with the tumult of falling in love all over again.

And then we come to the very adult problems facing Mithi and Jai: aka Commitment Phobia. Yes, there is heat, chemistry, sexy love-making and long, soulful glances but Handsome Jai (I call him that in my head, Priyanka) cannot do the one thing; the only thing Mithi wants: Admit to his feelings for her, for damaging and totally valid reasons of his own.

And Mithi with her steely spine under the delicate Madonna exterior holds firm on this one point, even as she tries to help him banish his demons and love him with all her heart.

The primary love story has a life of its own and Priyanka, like me is a fan of two characters coming full circle (get back to me on this, readers), but what completely enchanted me was the way all the secondary characters gelled in the story. Given full screen time and treated like the individuals they were and not just props to the main hero-heroine-conflict resolution.

In particular I love Mrs. Nair, the wise mom who has endured so much and still maintains a serene heart and Geet Chaddha – bubbly, headstrong and with a heart a mile wide that you cannot help but root for her as she tries to knock some sense into her chaddi-buddy Jai.

The writing is pacy and exquisite in a few places and the story holds its own on a second reading too.

If I would take away anything from The One and its author, it would be Mithi’s crying. She cries. A LOT. It’s not healthy. Priyanka, next time make your woman kick ass. And also, write me into a book where I, the bestselling author gets to live in a penthouse with my very own Handsome Jai.

Four and a Half Stars (Half a star taken for the crying)

Till next time

Xx

Writer Gal 

Updated: A previous version of this post called the book The One Who Got Away

flowers kissing

OTR MY OPINION: To Read or Not to Read… Same-Sex Love stories

flowers kissing

(Author’s Note: The opinions stated in this article are mine and mine alone)

I have a confession to make.

I haven’t read any M/M or F/F romances. Something about seeing two incredibly hot and amazing men, and BELIEVE ME, they all are, get it on with each other instead of a female (a female like me!!) invariably depresses the single woman in me. The same is not true for F/F romances and I really don’t know why I haven’t picked up one yet. Maybe, the same reason I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey (another CONFESSION!) or straight up erotica from Ellora’s Cave. Or even Blay and Quinn’s story in JR Ward’s awesome Black Dagger Brotherhood series. (I so HEART Zsadist!)

giphy

Giphy

Do y’all think I am a bigot now? Just because I haven’t read something that doesn’t appeal to me on an emotional or intellectual or even passing interest level? We’ll get back to this question in a minute.

About a year ago, my lovely, supportive (she encourages me to write even when I am driving her batty with writer’s block) awesome mom sat me down and asked me very seriously, and very miserably, “Aarti, are you a lesbian? Is that why you don’t want to look at suitable boys for marriage?”

I burst out laughing. Not because the idea is ludicrous or because I have anything against men, women or marriage (arranged marriage, yeah) but because of the look of Apocalypse Now on her face. The truth is, my lovely, supportive, awesome mom would be fine with almost anything I did, except turn out gay.

I’m not. I like men. I like cock. I LOVE writing about said men and their cocks. And their hearts and brains and the one thousand ways they can drive a woman crazy. But this conversation illuminated something for me. My freewheeling, free-thinking, secret rebel of a mom still had a few concerns about what my life choices were going to be, because of what society had taught us all was WRONG.

So, now, I ask you guys again. Just because I am a straight, single woman who loves writing straight romances, and doesn’t read same-sex erotica and love stories because they don’t appeal to me, does that make me a bigot on any level? Yes? No? Maybe?

I’ll start with the undecided first.

Maybe: Maybe I have a problem with gay writing and gays in general because I don’t like to read them. And maybe I do. Like I said, I don’t really know. But, how is it affecting the awesome, amazing gay couple who were smooching in the auto the other day or were holding hands yesterday at the mall, or my writer friends who write AMAZING same-sex romances? It’s not. Right? Right? Sure, they don’t have me as a reader yet, but since I am a maybe, I am still on the fence, I can always swing that way. There is hope yet for me.

Yes: Yes, I have a problem with gay writing, which possibly extends to gays in general because I don’t like to read them. And maybe yes, I do. But does this mean that I am going to go spit on the face of the cute gay couple next door’s relationship by telling their parents or go write mean, snarky comments on my friend’s Facebook page or even other popular author’s pages just because they support marriage equality? Doesn’t that make me ignorant as well as a bigot? And you can possibly be a closet bigot (all of us are about something or the other) but it is inexcusable to be ignorant in today’s Smartphone 3G age and we all know it.

So maybe if I have a problem with gay writing or gays I could just keep these opinions to myself, not in the name of anti-free speech but tolerance. Democracy advocates free speech as well as tolerance. If I have a problem with you, your way of living and who you choose to write about, I could just mind my own business anyway.

No: No, I don’t have a problem with gay writing, which extends to gays in general because I don’t like to read them. And yeah, I don’t. To y’all, a salute and a virtual doughnut! Because, see, you are a discerning individual. You understand that one choice doesn’t negate any other. You understand that just because I don’t choose to read horror or FSOG, doesn’t mean I have a problem with some other couple somewhere in the world enacting the Benwa Balls scene or a sexy version of The Shining because they’re into it.

And you definitely, MOST definitely understand that just because I don’t READ something doesn’t mean I don’t agree with it in principle or action, or that I won’t fight for it if and when the time comes. You are the antithesis of the Supreme Court of India because you get what democracy is all about.

Free Speech. Tolerance. Freedom to make your own choice.

I have given three different answers and now it’s time to disclose my opinion. And my answer is NO. I don’t have a problem with gay writing, which extends to gays in general because I don’t like to read them. I don’t read Horror too, or Erotica for that matter, or Epic Fantasy, or badly-written books. But I uphold everyone’s right to love, live and write about whatever they want to. Whether it is bestiality or mythical beasts or a heart-warming story about Nikhil and Rahul.

I might not read you, but I LOVE that you exist and can express yourself freely (at least in America.)

Xx

Writer Gal

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