Interviews, Guest Posts, Giveaways, and Summer Leaves

The last two weeks have been busy for me. Just before Thanksgiving, I did an interview and a guest post. Just after Thanksgiving, I released a new e-book.

Yesterday evening, Homeschooling Teen Magazine released the interview; this morning, Sarah Holman posted the guest post up on Homeschool Authors.

In conjunction with these, I am running a free book promotion on Amazon. Today, and through tomorrow, Sweet Green Paper and The Last Heir are free on Kindle.

As for the e-book, I am happy to announce the release of Summer Leaves: A Story in Three Acts. It is the second book in the Sons of Tryas, with Beauty of the Lilies leading the way.

Ruark, Lord Heir fourth in line for the throne, and once first in line, came so close. Still, he missed it entirely. His brother reigned, and dreamed, and Ruark himself wandered, burning his restlessness on distant, wild planets.

Then the premier of the Assembly found him, with an offer to give him everything he ever wanted, at only a small cost to his soul.

In Summer Leaves, Shannon McDermott continues the story of the sons of Tryas, begun in Beauty of the Lilies.

Sold on Kindle Amazon; estimated length 67 pages; price $2.99.

To read the beginning of the book, go to Amazon and either “Look Inside” or download the sample.

Prism Tour: An Incurable Insanity

In Rao’s debut novel an arranged marriage sets the stage for an intimate look at the exasperating madness of love….An often intoxicating…will-they-won’t-they tale.”- KIRKUS REVIEWS

An Incurable InsanityAn Incurable Insanity

by Simi K Rao

Paperback, eBook, 376 pages

Published October 8, 2013 by Tate Publishing
Shaan Ahuja found himself bowing to tradition and agreeing to an arranged marriage to the beautiful Ruhi Sharma. He went through the motions but had no intention of carrying through on his vows. His last foray into matters of the heart with an American girl had left him scarred and unwilling to try again. Thoroughly disillusioned and disgruntled he wasted no time in making his intentions clear to Ruhi on their wedding night. But, he was completely unprepared for what his new wife had in mind.

“By placing this Sindoor on your forehead, I make you mine. I take you as my wife.”

Sindoor सिन्दूर : Hindi pronounced Sin-Dur is the red vermilion powder worn by married Hindu women along the Maang (parting) of their hair. Being in use since the Vedic era, it is also called ‘Kumkum’ when mixed with turmeric.

Why Sindoor or Kumkum?

Considered scientifically and spiritually beneficial, it absorbs the ‘bad’ influences and enhances the power of concentration through the 3rd chakra which is centered on the forehead in between the eyebrows. It also enhances feminine grace and beauty. RED is the color of love and passion and hence is worn by women to win the hearts of their husbands.

It signifies that the woman who wears it is married and under the protection of her husband, therefore no one dare make the mistake of casting the evil eye on her.

Red is also the color of fire and strength. By wearing it, even the slight unassuming Indian woman can assume the role of Shakti (the divine feminine power) not only to protect herself but also for the security of her children.


An Incurable Insanity-Excerpt

You’re Mine

Ruhi saw Debo examining her curiously and realized that the sari had slipped off her shoulder while tending to Anu.

“What is up, dear? Where is your sindoor? I noticed earlier but didn’t bring it up.”

“Umm…the chain broke. I have given it for fixing.”

“Then what about the sindoor?”

“I…The whole thing fell on the carpet yesterday and made a mess. I have to go get some more.”

“Ruhi look at me.” Debo gently propped her face up by the chin. “You consider me like your elder sister, right?”

She answered with an apprehensive nod.

“Then there are certain things, which are essential for a married Indian woman. It doesn’t matter what your husband may say, but you should not take them lightly. You should never go without your sindoor because it is an auspicious symbol of your marriage and also a sign that indicates your love will prosper. Therefore, even if you don’t have your wedding necklace, you should at least wear your sindoor.”

“Yes, di, I will try to get some as soon as possible.”

“Soon? Why not now?”

Ruhi felt trapped as Debo dragged her to a tiny shrine and picked up a small silver receptacle full of the vermillion powder.

“I can put it on, di, give it to me.”

“No, I have a better idea. Shaan!” Debo called out.

Ruhi felt upset; her body began to tremble.

“What is it, bhabhi? Time for food?” Shaan appeared, smiling along with Sujoy.

“Shaan, I didn’t expect this from you. I know you love your wife dearly, but letting her go about bareheaded. It is not right.”

“Let them be, Debo, they are a modern couple. It’s their life. You don’t have to interfere.” Sujoy chimed in acutely embarrassed; his wife was quite the traditionalist.

“You keep out of it, Sujoy, I know my sister. She will listen to me.”

She handed Shaan the receptacle and urged him, “Take this and put it back where it belongs with God as your witness and don’t ever let her go unadorned again.”

Then as he hesitated, she asked, frowning, ”Is there something wrong between you two?”

“No, of course not.” He looked at Ruhi who had grown completely silent.

“Go ahead, Shaan,” Bee said softly, giving him permission.

He pinched a small amount of the red powder and placed it firmly in the parting on her forehead. Not entirely certain why, but this makeshift ceremony appeared more meaningful to him than the one on his wedding day.

“Perfect! Now my mishti bon looks like a bride, a very beautiful bride.”

Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several years. The inspiration for An Incurable Insanity came from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community. Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from friends and casual conversations with acquaintances…


$100 Gift Card to Amazon

5 eCopies of An Incurable Insanity

October 18 – November 11, 2013. International giveaway. Must be able to download winnings. Must be 18 to enter. See Rafflecopter for additional restrictions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome to The Exotic Tour…
We offer flowers in traditional welcome.
You are our honored guest…
10/20: Launch

10/21: #Dawat-Recipe Intriguing Reviews

10/22: #Desi-Indian Culture vvb32 reads

10/22: #Vivaah-Marriage Ritual The Wonderings of One Person
10/23: #Dawat-Recipe Deal Sharing Aunt
10/24: #Vivaah-Marriage Ritual Giveaway Breaking News for Indonesia
10/25: #Desi-Indian Culture Christy’s Cozy Corners
10/26: #Dawat-Recipe Book Babe
10/27: #Dawat-Recipe Brooke Blogs
10/28: #Dawat-Recipe Living a Goddess Life
10/29: #Desi-Indian Culture Sun Mountain Reviews
10/30: #Vivaah-Marriage Ritual Mel’s Shelves
10/31: #Desi-Indian Culture Shannon McDermott

11/1 – 11/5: Grand Finale

Dreaming At Speculative Faith

Last Friday I made a guest post at Speculative Faith. It was an essay called “Dreaming at the Crossroads,” and it focused on the intersection of Christianity, transhumanism, and speculative fiction. Here are the first couple paragraphs:

Nietzsche once declared that God is dead. Later he added that Man ought to be. “Man,” he wrote, “is something that is to be surpassed. … What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just the same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of shame. … Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman—a rope over an abyss” (from “Zarathustra and the Overman”).

Some would think this epitaph premature. Others would like to chisel the date of death beneath it. They call themselves transhumanists, and they are looking forward to a post-human world.

I invite you to go over and read my essay, along with the comments (forty-one at last count). While you’re there, you might want to look at the other blog posts. Speculative Faith also has a library – a treasure trove for readers of Christian SF.

I know this blog has been lagging a bit lately, but that will change next week. On Monday, December 5, the blog tour for Worlds Unseen, by Rachel Starr Thomson, continues; my review is due. On the same day, the blog tour for Corus the Champion begins, and runs for three days.