The first week of Spring, and there is soil beneath my finger nails. Well, there was; I’ve cleaned up and sit here writing. I’ve enjoyed pottering around the plot today, I remembered how much colour the plot brings to my life. I also remembered, just how much I’ve learned in the decade of growing my own.
Growing your own is not a new thing. It’s been happening since the middle ages, but the rise of allotments has really put it into a sharp focus. As has the spotlight on eating healthy, getting exercising and knowing where your food comes from. Three things that when you have an allotment really are part of the whole process of growing and eating.
You don’t even have to have an allotment. I started my gardening journey with plant pots in Dad’s garden. Container gardening was a really good foothold in learning and experimenting.
This blog has documented every inch of learning and experimenting. Much has been supplemented by talking to allotment neighbours, not to mention gardeners and allotmenteers across the universe. Documenting on the blog was certainly one aim. I also wanted to share my learning and experimenting. I’ve made a few mistakes, and I guess communicating these to others has some benefits.
As such, two ebooks have borne out of this blog and offer another avenue for encouragement and support. They are also available in paperback.
We’re all familiar with Bollywood movies; it is after all multi-million dollar industry with blockbusters that enthral millions. Many of them are romances of a kind. Yet when it comes to fiction, contemporary literature, diversity in romance is still a bit grey around the edges.
Don’t get me wrong, Mills and Boon-Harlequin by another name-has an armada of different nationalities. Many of the characters are Greeks, Italians, there might a few Russian Oligarchs, British Aristocrats and a few American Lieutenants and Medics in the mix. I don’t remember seeing many-if any-characters of Indian ascent; perhaps I missed that part of the library shelf, I don’t know. I dovknow that I saw a gap, especially having written Retreating to Peace: A Peace Series novella. The main protagonist, Devan Coultrie, is of a mixed heritage, but without him, I wouldn’t have even contemplated writing Kangana.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to books with characters from BAME backgrounds. There are authors from BAME groups. I remember seeing Bali Rai’s (Un)Arranged Marriage in the library as a teenager. I grabbed it, read it, and was overjoyed that it existed. I was amazed, that an author from BAME background existed. I’ve also experienced reading Meera Syal’s work; she is a national treasure, I tell you. Meera Syal and Nina Wadia are probably the most recognisable women of South-Asian ascent in the British Media and should be celebrated for their contributions; they certainly motivate me.
The pool of diverse authors is small, but does exist. I guess, that is the pool that I have inadvertently fallen into. Be it by background, be it by what I have chosen to write.
I don’t class Kangana to be the same as Bollywood movie, I’m loathe to even call it a bollywood romance. It’s difficult to put a label on it, but I would say it is diverse. It contains characters, narrative and experiences that are had by characters that we don’t necessarily see on the typical library, book shop, shelf. The setting isn’t exactly New Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore either. The book opens in Midlands, there are references to the BMAG, Sarehole Mill and also the Sea life centre. After all, I am a Brummie Born and bred. There had to be a strand of Birmingham in there.
So, there are some teasers below, the blurb too.
Why not try and read something different today? Kangana is available in both paperback and ebook. Links are on the sidebar.
His whole world changes when he meets Padmi. Life gets more interesting as she changes Gorbind’s universe completely. Romance with Padmi is anything but straightforward.
The rainbow cover is very important to me, and really does reflect the colours on the wind. This is a book that attempts to address different aspects of diversity and the cover had to underline that.
Picking up where Retreating To Peace left off, Postcards from Peace sees Devan Coultrie settle further into town.
We get to see his family, a few more of his friends about town and also the perils and pitfalls of his relationship with Aditi Rao.
Devan Coultrie is settling into Peace. Life as he knows it, is becoming really quite interesting.
Devan was being chased by a horde of wild-haired, completely psychotic, marauding banshees. They wanted him.
Every inch of him.
Resistance was futile, he was fair game. The Banshees were out to get him.
Waking with a jolt, Devan cursed loudly as both his elbows hit the curved sides of a very cold bath. He looked down toward his feet to see his ever-present Oxblood Dr. Marten’s thump against metal.
He was in the bath.
How the hell did he end up in the bath? Devan tightly closed his eyes to rack his brains. The last few days were incredibly blurry around the edges.
Don”t forget where it all started. Retreating to Peace: A Peace Series Novella saw Devan Coultrie head off to Peace, Montana. You might want to read that too!
It’s February, so the world and his wife is obsessed with hearts and flowers. With the feast of St.Valentines slap bang in the middle of the month, it’s impossible to move for commercialism.
Most years, I have an Anti-valentines plan. Something, that I can do solo, enjoy and not feel compelled to feel bad for not having a significant other. One year, there was pizza, Pinot Grigio and I think the Brit awards were on….even watched Down with Love.
Last year, I saw a live relay of Twelfth night; by far the best Valentine’s night I have ever had! This year, it is most likely to be book, blankey and junk food. Though a certain streaming service does have an Eric Bana show on that I do rather like the look of; I will watch anything with that man in. (Yet to watch love the beast, and Romulus, My father; both on the list.)
So, books. I will probably be curled up with one about the Medici’s-research, of a sort. Funnily enough, there’s romance, sex and intrigue in that too.
You know, it’s okay not to have a date on Valentine’s day. No one say’s you have to, and enjoying your own company is severely underrated. Plus, the day before and the day after-what I call the heartbreak days-are the one’s where folk’s need understanding the most.
I’ve been thinking, therefore. As cynical as I might be, I’ve written stuff with hearts and flowers in. Despite its over arching themes of grief, loss and bereavement, Fragments is actually quite hopeful. There is romance in there; Lydia and Matthew, with Albie and Lilly are probably the most standout examples. Retreating to Peace, is a contemporary romance, with Devan Coultrie eventually being loved. Kangana, is a romance with characters of Indian ascent, but not your average Bollywood drama. It deliberately has a rainbow cover, and Arjun’s story is a thread that is really important.
In a few weeks, Retreating to Peace will be joined by it’s follow up. That you will have to keep an eye out for. There will be pre-order stuff, very soon.
In Retreating to Peace, Devan Coultrie moved kit and caboodle to Montana. Before long, he was joined by Aditi Rao. Their history laid the foundations for a rosy future together. Devan now calls Peace home and his life has become eventful.
This collection of short stories sees his family visit, his romance with Aditi develop further and his dreams in Peace blossom.
Devan Coultrie’s life in Peace is a picture postcard with more to it than meets the eye.
The title and cover for Book six is officially revealed. I knew that Devan Coultrie and I were far from over; there was more to him than meets the eye! It is just over a year since Retreating to Peace was published and I’ve been sitting on this ever since.
This is a series of short stories that builds on what we already know, answer some questions and also fills Devan Coultrie out a little more. There are some new faces in this book, with cameos from folks from the rest of the Peace Novella Series. I couldn’t possibly have written this book without make reference to the rest of the town.
I can confirm that Devan still has his ox-blood Dockers. They are after all, a big part of his being. He now has a job, a sense of purpose and is making Peace his home.
Then there is Aditi Rao.
If you’ve read RTP, you will know what happens as far as she is concerned.
And another thing.
This aint over…..
On January 19th 2019 Retreating to Peace is officially one year old. A title from the Peace Novella series, we read about how Devan Coultrie moved to the States with something of a broken heart. What he didn’t bank on was being followed by Aditi Rao, a woman with home he has history.
If you pop along to the petal FB page, you can share your thoughts on RTP and maybe even win a copy of the paper back.
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