Dear Reader, from Shobhan Bantwal
I came from India to the U.S. as a young bride in an arranged marriage 36 years ago. Although all my adult life has been spent in the U.S., specifically New Jersey, my Indian heritage is a part of me that never diminishes. Consequently it has become the natural basis for my writing. As an Indian-American woman, I straddle two distinctly different cultures, both equally rich, both with their share of woes and quirks, yet both equally intriguing.
My writing career is a “menopausal epiphany,” because I started writing at the age of 50, when most women are dreaming of taking it easy, perhaps retire in a few years. What started as a pleasant pastime exploded into a second full-time career.
All my books are what I call “Bollywood in a Book”—stories filled with emotion, drama, vivid characters, the elements of Indian culture, and a romantic thread running through their fabric. My latest book, THE UNEXPECTED SON, is very much a product of my fascination with Bollywood and its bright spectrum of colors.
I decided to base my first two novels in India, and I used my hometown as the backdrop. I gave it a fictitious name, but I had a perfect little town with all its gossip, conservatism, colors, and sharp contrasts to draw upon for my stories. My characters are not based on any real people, but I could easily picture them living in my town, doing the things I did when I was growing up.
As a change of scene and pace, my third novel was set in the U.S., my home state of New Jersey, which is abundantly populated by Indians who have immigrated from different parts of India.
THE UNEXPECTED SON is my fourth book, and it is partly set in New Jersey and partly in India. My heroine is forced to return to her battle-scarred town in India to rectify a mistake she’d made 30 years ago, when she a young and naive teenager—and meet the son she never knew existed.
This book has garnered great early reviews, many with 5 Stars, and one Perfect 10.
I will be giving away two autographed copies of THE UNEXPECTED SON to two lucky winners amongst the readers who ENTER TO WIN!
Read an excerpt from THE UNEXPECTED SON and view the book trailer on my website at www.shobhanbantwal.com