BLOG TOUR: A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

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Mili Rathod hasn’t seen her husband in twenty years—not since she was promised to him at the age of four. Yet marriage has allowed Mili a freedom rarely given to girls in her village. Her grandmother has even allowed her to leave India and study in America for eight months, all to make her the perfect modern wife. Which is exactly what Mili longs to be—if her husband would just come and claim her.

Bollywood’s favorite director, Samir Rathod, has come to Michigan to secure a divorce for his older brother. Persuading a naïve village girl to sign the papers should be easy for someone with Samir’s tabloid-famous charm. But Mili is neither a fool nor a gold-digger. Open-hearted yet complex, she’s trying to reconcile her independence with cherished traditions. And before he can stop himself, Samir is immersed in Mili’s life—cooking her dal and rotis, escorting her to her roommate’s elaborate Indian wedding, and wondering where his loyalties and happiness lie.

Heartfelt, witty, and thoroughly engaging, Sonali Dev’s debut is both a vivid exploration of modern India and a deeply honest story of love, in all its diversity.

Advance Praise for A Bollywood Affair:

“Sonali Dev is a fresh new voice in romance. A child bride who’s all grown up, a sexy Bollywood director, and deeply-felt emotions that will keep readers turning the pages. A Bollywood Affair has it all.” –Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times Bestseller

“Deeply romantic and emotional, with characters I fell in love with, A Bollywood Affair is simply unputdownable. It’s sexy, it’s dramatic, but most of all, it’s a sweet, hot love story that made me sigh and smile and want to read it all over again as soon as I turned the last page.” -Nalini Singh, New York Times Bestseller

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Sonali Dev’s first literary work was a play about mistaken identities performed at her neighborhood Diwali extravaganza in Mumbai. She was eight years old. Despite this early success, Sonali spent the next few decades getting degrees in architecture and writing, migrating across the globe, and starting a family while writing for magazines and websites.

With the advent of her first gray hair her mad love for telling stories returned full force, and she now combines it with her insights into Indian culture to conjure up stories that make a mad tangle with her life as supermom, domestic goddess, and world traveler.

Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog.

Find Sonali Here: Website | Facebook Twitter | Goodreads

Character Interview:

Set the Scene for where Mili and Samir are being interviewed)
Samir and Mili welcome you into their Mumbai penthouse home. They are sitting on a plush leather loveseat under a huge, very modern painting and there’s enough food laid out for twenty people on the coffee table. The floor to ceiling windows present a view of the Mumbai skyline all around you. 

~First thoughts about the other when you first met?
Mili: Look at him. What would you think?
Samir (to Mili): What’s wrong with the way I look?
Mili: Don’t encourage him. That’s his line to get you to tell him how pretty he is.
Samir (rolls his eyes): What do you think I thought when I first met her? I thought she was crazy. Because she is.
~Mili, how does being married to Samir compare to being married to your arranged husband?

Mili: (Slides a quick glance at Samir and they share a secret smile) That wasn’t a marriage! (Mili and Samir say together).
Samir: Although, it took her long enough to admit it.
Mili: Well, it was a marriage not a TV show that you just stop watching because you don’t like it.
Samir: Why don’t you just answer the question, Mili?
Mili: See how much he enjoys being praised.
Samir: That’s her way of saying that I’m a great husband and that she couldn’t be happier and that she thinks she’s the luckiest girl in the world.
Mili: Maybe. 
~Samir, how has Mili taken to life with a Famous Director?

Samir: Haven’t you noticed how intimidated by my fame she is? Seriously, though, I think the better question is, how has my work taken to Mili? Last month she got all the stars in my film to do a fundraiser for her Women’s Safe House. And she’s got the hero of my film doing a public service announcement on TV about how real men treat women. Right now she’s working to organize a panel with all these star actresses talking to young mothers in rural areas around Mumbai about educating their daughters.   

~Are your families very accepting of this "New" Relationship?

Samir: Accepting isn’t the right word. It’s more like fervently supportive. Essentially, they would kill me if I hurt her in any way.

Mili: Except that if they tried to hurt you, my grandmother would kill them. My grandmother even let him buy her a cell phone. And she actually talks to him every day. I have no idea what they talk about. What do you two talk about, Samir?

Samir: She gives me tips on how to handle you.

~Three Qualities you Love about another?  Three you could do without?

Samir: She’s generous to a fault, works far too hard, and wants to change everything that’s wrong with the world. Oh, and she’s beautiful.

Mili: (wipes her eyes) He makes me cry all the time. And he cooks the best dal in the world. Oh, and he can spend hours staring at his paintings, and he refuses to let anyone else clean his car. He spends hours polishing it and buffing it and I think I caught him singing to it the other day.

~Mili, What are your plans for the Future career-wise, family-wise, etc?
Mili: Samir and I are working on setting up a safe house for battered women where they can get legal help and vocational training. Thanks to Samir we’ve been able to raise funds really fast. And we’re working turning Samir’s ancestral home in our village into a school for girls. 

~Samir, what about you, now that you have found Mili, where is your life, career, etc headed?
Samir: You mean what are my plans other than trying to keep up with my wife? Well, she thinks my films are too dark, so I’m working on one of those happy films.

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