Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Love Comes Later Blog Tour

Love Comes Later

This week I am participating in the blog tour for a great woman's contemporary fiction book called Love Comes Later. Here is a brief synopsis:

Hind is granted a temporary reprieve from her impending marriage to Abdulla, her cousin. Little does anyone suspect that the presence of Sangita, her Indian roommate, may shake a carefully constructed future. Torn between loyalties to Hind and a growing attraction to Abdulla, Sangita must choose between friendship and a burgeoning love.

A modern quest for the right to pursue love and happiness, even when it comes in an unconventional package, LOVE COMES LATER explores similarities between the South Asian and Arab cultures while exposing how cultural expectations affect both men and women. Identities are tested and boundaries questioned against the shifting backdrops of Doha, Qatar and London, England. (From Goodreads)

The original and ground breaking  premise of this book is it's blending of Asian and Arab cultures in a time when the world is trying to understand each other.  I felt a good way to kick this book off on my blog  would be a guest post by the author.  Through her post we can see how she immersed herself in the culture and world of Doha, and used her experience as a vehicle to push her writing to the next level. 

Love Comes Later explores the different aspects of love we find in our life, and the truthfulness we view ourselves with.  Without further delay I turn you over to Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar.

Seven years ago, when I told people in the U.S. I was moving to Qatar, most people had one of two reactions.  “Why?” was one.  “Where?” was the other.

The prevalent stereotype was of oil rich countries was of places like Saudi Arabia where women cannot drive and houses were rumored to have gold inlay on the doors or doctors living on the family property. I found it difficult to navigate between these two extremes and avoided conversation with the uninitiated when at home in order to save myself time, aggravation, and the risk of offending with curt replies.

There was a minority who knew of the place where I was headed, but these were either engineers, oil industry professionals, or—as I found out at my 10 year high school reunion—people in the intelligence community (that’s right, one among us was in the CIA). He was the ONLY person at our meet and greet for whom I did not have to go through the standard questions about the heat, clothing, and food.

He knew no one had lived in tents in at least two generations and that camels were not the major source of transportation—but rather luxury SUVs.

If there has been anything positive from the many political and economic crises in the last seven years, from international banks in a tailspin to the overthrowing of dictators during the Arab Spring, it has been a shift in perception about the Middle East.

Now when I make acquaintances and mention I live in Doha, the capital of the city state of Qatar, people are not only more familiar with this region of the world, but also their questions have changed.  “Do you like it there?” They ask.

When I moved here for an experimental year, I was single, hadn’t finished my PhD, and was twenty pounds, one marriage and two babies lighter. The country has been my greenhouse for personal and professional development.

I met my husband at work, eventually finished that degree, and had our first child here.

Five years flew by in this flurry of activity.  My local friends were going abroad for graduate work while my expat friends were moving on to other careers. Being the one who stayed behind was strange for me; I was so used to the role of adventurer. Loneliness sank in.

I had copious amounts of time to myself. In boredom, I picked up the Doha Stone—the equivalent of the collegiate Freshman Fifteen pounds minus the bustle of campus life.

I worked in an office, so I was different from many expat women—stay-at-home moms who could socialize during the day. Since I didn’t have a strict 9-5 schedule, I was outside the category of those who work American hours. I was at home, alone, for at least three hours a day. Everyone I knew in country was at work; everyone I knew on the other side of the world asleep.

At the edge of despair, I did the one thing I knew best: I wrote. I considered my new life—being part of a multiracial couple, being so close to India after so much time abroad, being a young woman in the male-dominated field of academia.  Writing was fun and yet a solitary activity nonetheless.

As an extrovert in an insular society, despairing at the idle conversation at coffee mornings for expat ladies, I started a group of my own, one for writers. Writing in a group became a way of making a lasting bond with others.

I started a blog.

I dug out old manuscripts and began tinkering.

I experimented with Twitter, starting with 170 followers while I tweeted my daily observations.

I co-edited the first published volume of essays by expats and locals in the country. Then came a second. Soon a series was created.

Last year I stepped off the corporate track to give my writing my full attention.

Eleven months and six E-books later, I’m proud to say I’m an indie. Being in Doha has changed my life in both fundamental and superficial ways—not the least of which is the time and space it’s given me to build a brand around my “Mohadoha” persona. I’ve been able to dabble in fiction, explore my interest in creative non-fiction, and hammer out my style.

The two books I’ve written set in Qatar, From Dunes to Dior and Love Comes Later, may not be the only ones. After all, who knows how much longer my family and I will stay; it could be quite a while.


As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Love Comes Later eBook edition is just 99 cents this week--and so is the price of its companion, From Dunes to Dior. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of Love Comes Later for just 99 cents
  2. Purchase your copy of From Dunes to Dior for just 99 cents
  3. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  4. Visit today’s featured social media event
  5. About Love Comes Later: What if pursuing your happiness also meant your best friend's disgrace? In Love Comes Later Sangita, Abdulla and Hind must chose between loyalty and love, traditional values and a future they each long to explore. Get it on Amazon.

    About From Dunes to Dior: I moved East, back towards my roots, only to discover how much of the West I brought with me. From Dunes to Dior is the story of my life as an expat South Asian woman in the heart of the Middle East. Get it on Amazon.

    About the Author: Six eBooks ago, Mohana joined the e-book revolution and now she dreams in plot lines. Visit Mohana on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

    1 comment:

    1. Thanks so much for hosting me and sharing my work with your readers. Hope they enjoy learning a little more about Qatar. Bloggers rule!