I used some cool AI narration technology to create my audiobook. Parvati, the AI voice I chose, sounded very real.
In some ways, she is no different than my fictional characters, Meera and Jay. My characters live in medieval India with no technology, and Parvati is a 21st-century invention. Her accent is modern Indian rather than medieval.
I have written over 50,000 words in my new tale of love. The series is based on an ancient Indian custom called svayamvara. In a svayamvara, a princess chooses a suitable groom from among the gathered suitors. Here is a sneak peek:
Princess Lalitha searches for her father, who fought in a battle against King Dushyant. When Lalitha is injured, a metalsmith rescues her. He accompanies her on the journey back to her kingdom, and there is nothing convenient about the feelings Lalitha develops for him. Her father had promised to hold a svayamvara, a groom-choosing ceremony, for her. With no male heirs, Lalitha cannot succumb to temptations if she wants to rule her kingdom.
King Dushyant was fighting to avenge his father’s death. He did not anticipate saving Princess Lalitha or escorting her to her kingdom. While he had hidden his identity from the spirited princess, his icy resolve to keep his heart untouched began to melt.
Neither can afford to surrender to the current of attraction sweeping them. But the author has different ideas for them.
If you are interested in reading my other historical fiction books, start here.
I love reading books with happily ever after endings. The ten romance novels I have read this year pay testimony to that. Reading a well-written romance novel can feel like drinking a cup of hot coffee while watching the sunrise. No one does it better than Jane Austen. Capital L love her books. Who is your favorite romance author?
However, writing a happily ever after story requires a different mastery. Unlike the Land of Magadha series, where death came without an announcement, the protagonists in my historical romance novel have to survive to the end to declare their passion. I have written over 50,000 words in this tale of love without killing my star characters, though I came close a few times.
The series is based on an ancient Indian custom called svayamvara. In a svayamvara, a princess chooses a suitable groom from among the gathered suitors. Sometimes, there might be a contest, and the prize for the winner is a wedding. In Ramayana, Rama strings a bow to win Sita’s hands.
The slender maiden glanced at him; she glanced And uttered not a word, nor heeded how The grass-twined blossoms of her garland danced When she dismissed him with a formal bow.
The Dynasty of Raghu, by Kalidasa
Looking forward to sharing updates about my work in progress in the coming weeks.
I finished the Raje series by Sonali Dev. These books are a Jane Austen-inspired Indian American retelling. First off, the brilliance of Austen and her stories are something to marvel at. Centuries after she wrote, the stories still resonate with us. Sonali’s writing brought me joy, and I highly recommend it to fellow contemporary romance readers. Don’t read the books on an empty stomach. You will be raiding your pantry from the mouth-watering food in the book.
Emma Project review (Rajes # 4)
Forget about the Jane Austen adaptation part and enjoy the novel for itself.
Author Dev has written a delightful ending to the Raje series. I enjoyed the dynamic of well-meaning family members trying to break up and dissuade the couple. Ultimately, it comes down to the protagonist accepting she deserves a happily ever after ending. If you are a fan of Austen and the romance genre in general, this book is for you.
What a great way to spend my Saturday. I hung out with fellow authors and talked about my stories with book lovers. The weather was still summer-like, and there was something magical about sharing my love of reading with others. I am grateful to the readers who stopped by and talked to me. Special thanks to those to purchased my books.
A reader who purchased my complete series reached out to say she has read the first two books and is halfway through the third. She loved the story so far. I have been floating in the air since I heard from her.
I attended a book reading event by author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni at the Warwick’s book store. Her ability to craft stories was evident in her talk. The one-hour event imparted so many lessons for an author like me. She masterfully narrated her interest in Queen Jindan’s life and how she did her research into the historical period and the queen. I was astounded by how the author set up the scene before she started the reading. Though I have read excerpts from my books, I have never taken the time to explain the background before. Something for me to emulate in the future. The best advice she gave authors is to read great books. That advice is easy for me to follow because I love to read. The best part was getting her autograph on the novel The Last Queen. I cannot wait to read and share my review with you.
This book surprised me in a good way. Short stories compiled cleverly into a novel. Sprinkling of old fairy tales retold in clever ways. Recommend for fantasy readers.
Next, I read Sword of Destiny.
I loved that ending. For a story told from the POV of an emotionless witcher, this book (and series) packs quite the emotional punch. Fantastic world, larger-than-life characters, and a narrative that is a feast for all our senses—this is fantasy as it ought to be.
I watched Season one of the Netflix Witcher series after Sword of Destiny. The show has three different timelines (Geralt’s story takes place over a few years, Yennifer’s over a few decades, and Ciri’s is the present), and the books helped me make sense of it all.
Most recently, I finished Blood of Elves.
This is officially the first book in the Witcher series, but this is the third book I have read after the Last Wish and the Sword of Destiny.
I loved the Ciri training montage as it unfolded on paper. What a great way to showcase it.
The letter from Yennifer revealed a mountain of feelings and emotions without Geralt and her meeting.
I cannot wait to read the next book and watch Season 2 of the show.
I did for a contest and was humbled to win first place.
I am immensely grateful for local organizations that support artists, including writers. Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation is one such local organization that hosts the Write On Oceanside event.
They conducted a six-word story contest. I have never participated in a contest before, and I write 80k to 90k words novels. There is always a first time for everything, and I decided to craft a story in six words.
Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway bet his literary friends that he could write an entire story in six words. The group put $10.00 each into the pot, then Hemingway wrote, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
(Source: Write On Oceanside website)
I am in awe of his talent. I have years of practice ahead of me to reach his level. As the first step in that journey, my short won first place at the contest.
Well, what do you think? I would love to hear from you. One day, I hope to write his backstory. While not short, my complete trilogy is available in Kindle Unlimited for binge reading.
This series of historical romances will center on the ancient Indian Svayamvara traditions. Svayamvara offered the bride a chance to choose her mate. I have sprinkled references to this ceremony in the Land of Magadha trilogy. Some svayamvara’s involved a challenge, and the bride would garland the winner. In Ramayana, Rama strung the bow to win the hand of Sita.
Each book would tell the story of a royal couple. Romance with a healthy dose of royal court intrigue is what you will find in the pages.
These novels will feature a happily ever after ending, but the road traveled will be bumpy.
How is my writing coming along? I am writing the first book in the series and falling in love with my characters. I have written ten thousand words, and they are starting to feel real to me. I will share their names soon.
While waiting for this book, read my free novella to get a taste of medieval India.