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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

TLC Book Tours presents... Valentine's Day Q&A with Falguni Kothari!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.


Today, we're joining TLC Book Tours for a Valentine's Day (ish) spotlight on a great selection of titles from Harlequin Books.  From sweet to spicy, heartwarming to heart racing, there's a little something for every reading taste.  Now, this tour is a little different.  This time, it's not JUST about the reviews, though there are plenty.  This time around, we're getting one on one with the author's as they share about themselves, their works, and their journeys to publication.  Sound good?  Great!  My stop along this tour stars a title from a newer branch of Harlequin...Graydon House...and it just so happened to hit bookstore shelves the end of last month  (Happy belated BOOK BIRTHDAY!).  Ready to read all about it?  Here...we...go...



by
Falguni Kothari
9781525811395
Graydon House


About the book...
"At once heartbreaking, delightful, and completely unexpected. A must-read!" —Sonali Dev, award-winning author of The Bollywood Bride

“Promise me you’ll learn to cuss, learn to love again. Live again. Promise me you won’t give up on each other.”

Simi Desai is thirty years old and her husband is dying of cancer. He has two last wishes in his final months: first, that she’ll have his baby so that a piece of him lives on, and second, that she’ll reconcile with her old flame, who just happens to be their mutual best friend. And so over the course of their last summer together, Simi’s husband plans a series of big and small adventures for this unlikely trio, designed to help them say goodbye to each other and prove to Simi that it’s okay to move on without him—and even find love again.

Beautiful and poignant, Falguni Kothari’s My Last Love Story will pull your heartstrings as only unforgettable love stories can.






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💗 💗   Valentine's Day Q&A with   ðŸ’— 💗
Author Falguni Kothari

1.  What has your journey been like to becoming a published author? 
If I had to use one word to describe my publishing journey, I’d say it has been topsy-turvy. My first two books—romances—sold to publishers in India (Rupa and Harlequin India) before I even knew what being a published author entailed. Back then I thought all I had to do was write a book. Imagine my shock once I realized the truth.
Then, I changed genres. I wrote a fantasy novel based in Indian mythology, the first in a series. That one was hard to place even in India, much less elsewhere. So, I self-published it and soon after, my agent in India sold the South Asian rights for the series to OM Books in India. While all of that was going on, I wrote My Last Love Story, changing genres yet again. Now, this hopping between genres isn’t exactly advisable, especially while an author is trying to build a brand, but that is how I write and how the stories come to me. And while I was writing all of these stories, I was learning about the publishing industry and about where my own strengths and passions shone.
At a conference, I pitched My Last Love Story to an editor who was taking pitches for the imprints MIRA and HQN. I thought it would fit those imprints as My last Love Story wasn’t exactly a romance, but was definitely romantic women’s fiction. She was intrigued by the book and the characters, but regrettably she didn’t offer for it because, again, it didn’t quite fit into any known genre or imprint—at the time.
By then, having already self-published my fantasy, and loving the concept of being the master of my publishing fate, I decided to self-publish My Last Love Story too. I devoted the next several months to that purpose and in the summer of 2016 released it into the world. Fatefully, a month or so later, Allison Carroll, the editor from HQN that I’d pitched to the year before, emailed me to first congratulate me on my recent release, and then to ask if I was inclined to taking it off the market and re-querying Harlequin because (it’s a secret) a new Graydon House Books imprint was in the works. And I did so gladly.
So, that’s my publishing journey. As I said, topsy-turvy.


Image result for heart triangle2.  In your own words, describe how you are changing the typical perception of the 'love triangle' in MY LAST LOVE STORY. 
In a typical love triangle, one person of the three people involved gets a raw deal or has their heart trampled upon. S/he’s left behind or alone or has to settle for his/her second choice, while the other two people—the romantic couple—separate into this fated entity.
In My Last Love Story, that happens too, but in rotation. The heartache or the feeling of being the third wheel isn’t fated to only one person. When they first meet, my lead characters Simi, Zayaan and Nirvaan are all equally attracted to each other, and the three form a friendship—a bond—that is unique and rare. Then Simi and Zayaan become a couple until external forces break them up. As adults, Simi and Nirvaan are married while Zayaan is the one standing to the side. And then, because the men are such good friends too, there are times when Simi feels isolated from them and left out.
In My Last Love Story, the onus of being heartbroken or deliriously happy doesn’t fall only on one person or a couple, but all three, and I think that makes it a unique love triangle.


Image result for heart doodles3.  When you first started writing MY LAST LOVE STORY, did you set out to write a romance from the beginning? 
Yes, I started writing it as a romance, though it didn’t strictly end up as one. My original plot had a different ending, one that perhaps would have brought closure to the romantic story by defining the couple who survived. But somehow, while writing this story and getting to know the characters, especially Nirvaan and his zest for life, I realized—somewhere in the middle—that I couldn’t write the original ending. I couldn’t write this story like a typical romance. I couldn’t tie a neat little romantic bow around the end. And yet, there is a beautiful Valentine’s rainbow at the end—just not one that readers expect to see.


4.  Would you mind sharing, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, a true love story from your own life?
Image result for glowing hearts
My husband and I were formally introduced through mutual acquaintances in a very arranged-marriage-style set-up. Within a couple of weeks of meeting each other, we were engaged and preparations for the wedding, which was planned for the following year, were underway. Obviously, we didn’t know each other well at all and we were working on getting to know each other day by day and week by week. I wasn’t expecting any romantic lightning strikes and was quite prepared to slowly come to love him in the course of our life together. I’d been disappointed in love before and thought this was better. More stable an undertaking.
Then, two months before our wedding, I got chicken pox. Oh, I cannot describe the horrified and crazy state of my mind then. I didn’t know how I’d get married, looking like an escapee from a horror show. I didn’t know if I would be pockmarked for life. And what about my fiancé? Would he be able to even look at me if I were? I mean, it wasn’t as if we were in love! What if he took one look at me and ran for the hills? Then I thought that what if he didn’t? I knew this was the opportunity to test him like I’d never been able to in the several months since our engagement. And I’m the sort of person who values empirical knowledge to ambiguity. This was the way to know what kind of a man I was marrying in less than two months. Or, if I’d be marrying him at all. I thought that if he can look at me with pox on my face—literally—then he was exactly the kind of man who would keep my heart safe.
And he was.


Image result for glowing hearts5.  Any love or romance advice for anyone out there still looking for love? 
I’m a practical romantic. This is what I tell my daughter—whose 18 years old now—and continues to be horrified that her father and I got engaged after meeting each other only twice and that too in the span of one day. So I tell her: It doesn’t take long to know a person or grand gestures to declare love, it takes a single pockmarked moment. Look for that pockmarked moment and you will find love.
But if you don’t, isn’t that okay too? To have a love affair with life instead?





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About the author...

Image result for line of hearts

Falguni Kothari is a hybrid author of unconventional love stories and kick-ass fantasy tales flavored by her South Asian heritage and expat experiences. An award-winning Indian Classical, Latin and Ballroom dancer, she currently elevates her endorphin levels with Zumba.

She resides in New York with her family and pooch.



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Image result for tlc book tours logo
Special thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for the chance to participate in this promotion and to author Falguni Kothari for sharing about her life and work with all of us.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Graydon House, an imprint of Harlequin Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.  Be sure to catch the rest of the tour as it makes its way through the blogosphere for more great titles, features, and bookish fun!

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!




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