A sneak peak

I want to share an update about my work in progress. I am writing a historical romance novel set in medieval India. She is impulsive, and he is calm, except where it concerns her.

Princess Lalitha rode along the narrow forest path, her heart hammering against her ribs. The wind rustled against the branches as she and her tired mare advanced slowly in the descending darkness. She had left her Aunt Chitra’s house two days ago and had journeyed nearly non-stop since then. Only finding the fate of her father kept her moving.

Sneak Peak of Anna Bushi’s WIP

I am reading the Witcher series

I started with The Last Wish.

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.

Can you a write a story in six words?

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.

He collapsed, and death united them.

Anna Bushi

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.

I am writing a historical romance series

Yes, you read that correctly.

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.

It is out

Burden of the Crown 
This novel is a tale of two fathers. One who is acknowledged grieves for his lost son. One who is hidden grieves for what will never be. 

I loved writing these heart-wrenching tales of men and their sons. With hearts as big as the sky, they act propelled by love for their child and the mother.

Here again, is a tale of two different loves. A king married to his land struggles with his duties as a husband. A concealed lover longs for any claims to his beloved.

I hope you savor the conclusion to my trilogy as much as I cherished writing it.

Have you preordered my book?

The news you have been waiting for (not really but I am an author living in my dreams) is here. Burden of the Crown is available for preorder.

Be warned. The story starts with heart-wrenching sadness. After I drench you in the rain, I let the clouds part at the end. You, my reader, expect no less than an emotional roller coaster from me. I am here to make the plunge deeper and screams louder.

Meera had no strength left in her to lift her head. She curled up like a child, struggling to breathe.
“My queen,” a voice called, and she raised her head. A deep yearning filled her as she gazed at Rish’s silhouette outside her tent.

Excerpt from Burden of the Crown

You saw him as a sixteen-year-old crown prince in Heir to Malla. In Burden of the Crown, King Jay is a father. The character growth over thirty years was a fascinating story for me to write. Yes, there is heartbreak involved. And hope. And lots of love. I am excited to share an excerpt from this book with you.

Chapter 1 – Jay

Salty air wafted in through the tiny window and touched my skin like a coarse fabric. The sea crashed against the ship, drowning the faint noise of sailors shouting on the deck above me. Picking up a scroll, I noticed the swirls in the honey-colored table revealed by the morning light. I traced the markings on the wood with my finger, marveling at the craftsmanship of Malla carpenters. From outside my door came a thud of footsteps and a knock. I glanced up as my son strode in with my nephew on his heels. My son, Vikram, resembled my younger self, captured in a portrait in Akash. 

“Father, there are beautiful coral reefs around here, and Atul and I want to take a boat to explore,” he said. The waves rocked the vessel gently like I had rocked these boys when they fit in my palm. Vikram swayed on his feet, brimming with energy. He exuded easy confidence that I had not possessed at sixteen. 

Continue reading here.

Happy Mother’s Day

Mothers and mother figures play a prominent role in my Land of Magadha trilogy.

Stepmother

In Heir to Malla, you meet Queen Charu, stepmother of Meera and Jay. Is she an evil queen? Not quite. I featured her in a blog post.

Tears welled in my eyes anyway for the mother I lost, and my stepmother who got her wish to wear the crown but knew no real happiness.

Princess Meera

Grandmother

Grandmothers and the tales they spin can be magical. Meera’s grandmother plants seeds in her mind of what her life will be like as a queen. I wrote about how my grandmother inspired my writing journey.

Even my beloved Padi may not be worthy of my beautiful and brave granddaughter.

Queen Mother Priya

Sister

The wonderful sibling relationship between Meera and Jay features prominently in my trilogy.

“The one our mother taught us?”

“I don’t remember her, let alone her voice. I only remember you singing to me.”

Jay

Aunt

Of course, many aunts act as mother figures in the story.

He cried out for his mother last night. I watched as Aranya comforted him tenderly and calmed his demons.

Jay

A mother’s love is complex, and I enjoyed exploring the different layers of it in my story.

Anger surged in me like a fire that was fed new wood. I needed to protect my child.

Meera

What is your favorite portrayal of mother in fiction?

Cover Reveal

Burden of the Crown

This book concludes the story of Meera and Jay and is a culmination of my eight years writing journey. 

We first meet 19-year-old Meera and her 16-year-old brother, Jay, in Heir to Malla. In the first chapter, our protagonist dreams about marriage and love. The chapter ends with her learning that her brother has gone missing in enemy land. 

What follows is a tale of love, adventure, and royal intrigue set in medieval India. From the gods worshipped to the food served at the feast, the book offers a taste of 9th to 11th century India. I enjoyed writing this coming-of-age story, especially Meera’s. At the start of the book, Meera is a traditional princess, content to let her father and brother manage the affairs of the court. Then things change for the worse, and she is forced to take charge of her destiny.    
 
Meera and Jay return to face the consequences of their actions in War of the Three Kings, set a decade after book one. This book starts with another Meera chapter, showcasing her domestic bliss, with a peek at her heart in conflict, and plunges into chaos with a death of a beloved monarch. I loved the many storylines in this book, some happy, others tragic. One, in particular, tore my heart. My characters are not playing with blunt swords anymore. So the outcomes are unpredictable. 

Burden of the Crown will wrap up Meera and Jay’s tales. This series has been a magical ride for me. Some of the arcs started in book one conclude in this book. It has been an absolute joy writing about this land, where I could let my imagination run wild. I will share an excerpt soon.

Books I read and loved

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

While the world outside feels chaotic, we readers find refuge in books. Here are some books that I have read recently and would recommend:

People We Meet on Vacation – Warm, buttery, sweet, and perfect for romance lovers. This is a book one can read again and again.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft: If you read one book on writing, make it this. An authentic voice is such an elusive thing. Stephen King does it so effortlessly. To imagine him facing near-death halfway through the text and still producing such a great book speaks to his skills as an author. I learned a lot from this book and highly recommend it to all my author friends.

A Game of Fear (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #24): To say I have a soft spot for the shell-shocked inspector is an understatement. I have read all the books in this series. This novel was better than the last book. That is saying something because this is book 24. Recommend for mystery lovers and lovers of the foggy, grey English countryside.

The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5): Surprised by this book. In a good way. Short stories compiled cleverly into a novel. Sprinkling of old fairy tales retold in clever ways. Recommend for fantasy readers. I am off reading the next book in this series.

Of course, if you have not read my books, start reading with Heir to Malla.