Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Mohana Rajakumar - The Princely Papers is featured in the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Mohana Rajakumar's Book: The Princely Papers. 

Award-winning Author Mohana Rajakumar is an writer based in Qatar. She has a PhD and has been involved in various foundations supporting young writers.

The Princely Papers

Author: Mohana Rajakumar


Albie Ringham is like most twentysomething men. He likes fast cars and women who look good driving them. As the spare in the Ringham dynasty, he parties in the best nightclubs around the world while his sister Victoria prepares to take the throne one day. When fate thursts the crown back onto Albie's head, three generations of romance, hopes and frustrations come along with it. Can Albie fulfill generations of his family's obligation to become the people's prince? Or will he be lured away from duty by love when introduced to the winsome Rachel?

Excerpt from The Princely Papers

Chapter Two

Albert Present Day

Albert leaned back, though he might as well have tried to move a brick wall. The ornate chair gave no quarter. His lower back remained a knot of muscle, a remnant from his flying days, whenever he sat still. Overhead chandeliers cascaded fifteen feet above the tables, laid for a three-course meal. Oyster forks. Albert unbuttoned his jacket. The schedule read four hours – at the rate they were going, this ceremony would be slower than the Oscars. At the opposite table, a blonde bombshell flashed the valley of her breasts while bending forward for her napkin. Frigid aircon blew on the top of his head though most of the women wore one-shouldered gowns, if they had straps at all. Simpering glances from the others on either side of the blonde came his way. As they had done since he was old enough to register women’s interest. When had that been? When he was five? Shuttled from his mother’s side into boarding school and then the army; his family worked to keep him as far from women as they could. Or was it women as far from the century’s most eligible bachelor? In either case, the women themselves couldn’t be stopped. Like father, like son the tabloid captions read, as Albert worked his way through a stream of interchangeable blonde girlfriends while at university. He shuddered at the comparison.

Tonight no one of fuckable age sat in any of the eight seats at his table or at the one immediately to his right. Two women out of the hundreds scattered in rows throughout the ballroom were at his table and these were matronly types. Normally this would irk him. Torie never missed a moment to remind him that, as the keeper of the family crown, her duty was to ensure he stayed in line. Her darling little brother. The heir meant to be the spare.

Tonight, however, Albert could use a break after his weekend in the American city of Las Vegas. Like they say, detox. He smirked at the gent in the tuxedo to his left. Seventy if he was a day. Earl… Lord… something. Cufflinks glinted in the dimmed lights. There was a crest there, he could make it out if he squinted a bit longer. Albert lost the summary card with the event details and hadn’t listened while his aide, Edward, gave him the run-down of those seated at his table. Albert shuffled through the notes tucked inside his jacket. Thank everyone for their time. Recognize how important the events are.

“Sir.” A waiter, his face filled with wrinkles pulling at deflated cheeks, harrumphed on Albert’s left.

“Yes, what is it?”

“I present Miss Heather Sparkle.”

“Spark—” Albert forgot his caustic remark as an olive-skinned woman slid into the seat on his right. Her high-necked, black lace dress hugged a trim figure. Other than the men in tuxedos, she wore the most fabric of anyone in the room.

The tuxedo on the other side of her rumbled about no one being seated after all the royals were in the room. “Most unorthodox,” he said. The waiter looked down a long nose.

“I’m sorry, the studio’s helicopter was late.” Sparkle’s eyes darted around the room. Her hands tugged at the ends of long, straight black hair. “Mixed up landing times or something.” She pulled a napkin onto her lap. “Am I a course behind?” In her agitation, she picked up the butter knife, to do what exactly with the empty charger, Albert couldn’t have guessed.

“Oh, Miss Sparkle, you made it.” Edward pushed aside the waiter who remained still as a pillar.

Albert leaned on one elbow – a sight Torie would have frowned on disapprovingly – to take in the unusual occurrence of a breathless Edward. Normally his dour equerry, inherited from his mother’s staff, would have nudged Albert’s chin off his palm. Except at the moment the unflappable Edward focused entirely on the late arriving guest.

“They gave me a hard time at the door,” she said. Slender fingers tapped the bun at her neck before flitting to the check the tear shaped necklace in the hollow of her throat. “No one is allowed in after the prince.” Now she craned her neck as if looking for another prince, one other than he seated next to her. “They didn’t say where he was.”

“Oh, he’s–” Edward coughed.

“I hope he didn’t see.” Sparkle dropped the knife back onto the plate with a clang.

“Those pesky rules.” Albert gave her a wink that the three hundred strong paparazzi would have loved had they been allowed in the ceremony itself, not panting at the entrance for a chance at a close up. “Surely he’s too busy to notice.”

“Yes, hopefully no one will notice,” she repeated to herself in a whisper. A fringe of dark lashes lowered. The effect was – alluring. Albert toyed with his butter knife. She in no way fit his type – or the type his sister accused him of having. Blonde, billionaire, party girl.

Edward stepped aside as a bevy of waiters approached with warm plates. They elbowed him out of the way in order to set Albert’s dinner on the gold rimmed charger.

“The ladies first, please,” he said, in a deeper voice since the vision beside him still hadn’t registered she was in fact sitting by the prince of her concern.

“Of course, sir.”

That got her attention, he noticed with satisfaction.

“Hello,” she said pointedly to Lord-what’s-his-name.

A mild shiver ran through Albert. He couldn’t place it as mirth or the sudden onset of a cold from the continued blast of the aircon. She thought the tuxedo was him. No, surely no. Surely everyone knew about the red-headed prince. They had television in America. Didn’t they? The girls he invited to his suite during the last night on the Strip certainly had.

“It’s such a pleasure to meet you, Duke.” She repeated this several times because the tuxedo – Earl of Nottingham, yes that was him, Louis, – couldn’t hear her.

Albert let out a cough at the twisted expression on the older man’s face as he tried to make sense of what she was saying. “Young lady,” he began.

Albert raised his hand to stem whatever withering tirade would otherwise ensue. These were the types of lecture he grew up; good deportment, paying attention, protocol, blah, blah, blah. “Actually,” Albert interjected. “I believe you’re looking for me.”

A pair of deep brown eyes rounded on in him in growing horror. She sized him up, from his hairline to his cufflinks. “You’re too young.”

“I don’t think we’ve been introduced.” He chuckled at the red flush creeping up her cheeks.

“You are.” She closed her eyes in mortification. “Your Highness!”

“The only time a guest may enter at whatever time she chooses, is when she’s the guest of honor,” Albert explained to the Earl. “Ms. Sparkle here is receiving recognition for her charity work with children living with AIDS. You might recognize her from her work on – Sport of Kings?”

“Game of Royals,” she corrected in a murmur.

“Yes, that’s the one.” Albert snapped his fingers. “Haven’t seen it yet,” he said by way of apology. “Didn’t realize these period dramas now had people worth watching.”

Despite her clear agitation, Sparkle gave a giggle. She tucked into the steak with that peculiar habit Americans had of holding her fork in the right hand.

“Young lady,” the Duke began, aghast that the late arrival would eat before the head of the table.

“Enjoy your meal,” Albert said. He shook his head at this peer of the realm, someone Torie had placed here to stymie her brother’s evening. At least the gods sent him this paean of beauty and earnestness.

“I usually don’t eat at these things,” Sparkle said, the first bite tucked into the side of her cheek like a chipmunk in order to make conversation possible. “But I’ve been running around all day.”

“By all means,” Albert said. He folded his arms on the table, eliciting another round of frowns of disapproval from the Duke. “I know how that is.” This had the opposite effect of warming her up – Sparkle froze with the fork halfway to her mouth. A cello played, unaccompanied, a mournful string of notes competing with the click and clang of cutlery at tables all over the ballroom.

“Oh God, I didn’t read the briefing card.” She gulped down the sizeable piece of meat garnished with an orangy cream sauce. “It was in the bottom of my bag and it got wet when –”

“Your Highness.” Edward returned, sidestepping the departing waiter with the grace of a dancer. “Your sister wishes to see you.” He said the second part into his ear.

“I’m at the table,” Albert hissed back. For the first time in months and months he sat next to someone remotely interesting. How had Torie sniffed it out? He scanned the room for one of her well-intentioned spies. No Thomas around to steady him if the waters got murky.

“Most urgent,” Edward whispered.

“I’ll have my meal first.” Albert reached for his napkin.

“Code jewels.”

Author: Mohana Rajakumar

Author Genre: Essays & non-fiction projects with young adults

Website: Mohadoha - Modern Mother, Writer, Scholar
Author's Blog: YouTube Channel - Mohana Rajakumar
Author Amazon Page
Twitter: @moha_doha
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

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Amazon Author Profile

Author Description: Mohana is a writer and scholar of gender, race, and writing. Her work has appeared in academic journals and books. She is the award-winning novelist of Love Comes Later and An Unlikely Goddess, among others. As the host of the Expat Dilemmas podcast, she peppers each show with reflections from a decade of living abroad. She teaches courses on literature, argumentative and creative writing.

Author's Book List
Pearls of the Past
In the much-anticipated sequel to the award-winning Love Comes Later, we find out how happy the ever after is for Abdulla and Sangita, the unlikely duo who met by chance in a London apartment. This second book is participating in the #pentopublish2017 contest.

Married life holds more than they bargained for with the pressures of living amongst the family.

Hind has made good on her aspirations to work in the foreign service in India as an independent woman. Except loneliness dogs her every step.

And young Luluwa, once a teenager infatuated with her dead sister's husband, is growing up quickly.

When a deep family secret comes to light, it's she who will have to find a way to bring them together to overcome the dark forces.

Readers will lose themselves in the increasingly complex ties that bind.

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No Place for Women - Crimes in Arabia Book 2
Finding a missing construction worker makes Ali a good man but not a stellar detective - at least not in the eyes of the national intelligence unit. His assignment to a new vice squad could be the road to redemption. When his undercover agent discovers the dead body of an expat teacher, what began as a safe bet puts his reputation on the line. Soon the burned remains of another woman are found in the desert, and Ali and Manu have no choice but to enlist the help of his fiancee Maryam to explore how the two murders may be connected. Do they have the country's first serial killer on their hands? And, if so, how can they ever hope to stop him? Set against the backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, readers are drawn into a world of intrigue, romance, and danger.

Order the Book From:

The Migrant Report - Book One, Crimes in Arabia Series
Against the glittering high-rises of the capital, Manu, a recent arrival from Nepal, drips his days away on a construction site, cut off from the world outside the labor camp. His sister despairs of finding him among the thousands of migrant workers flooding into the Arabian Gulf to build the country’s infrastructure. Manu and Sanjana must keep their younger siblings out of poverty, even if at their own expense. Police captain Ali's hopes of joining the elite government forces are dashed when his childhood deformity is discovered. His demotion brings him face to face with a rising pile of unexplained dead bodies and also an aspiring journalist who is unlike any local girl Ali knows. In danger of flunking out of university, Maryam is searching for an original story that will appease her professor and keep her family’s machinations for marriage in check. Can the unlikely trio fit the pieces of the puzzle together before agency thugs get to Manu?

Book Trailer: The Migrant Report

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Love Comes Later
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.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Winner of the SheWrites New Novelist competition 2011

"Mohana's entry, out of all of them, stood out for its story and for its distinct and engaging voice. Mohana made us want to read more…" Kamy Wicoff, author and founder of She

Sita is the firstborn, but since she is a female child, her birth makes life difficult for her mother who is expected to produce a son. From the start, Sita finds herself in a culture hostile to her, but her irrepressible personality won’t be subdued. Born in India, she immigrates as a toddler to the U.S. with her parents after the birth of her much anticipated younger brother.

Sita shifts between the vastly different worlds of her WASP dominated school and her father’s insular traditional home. Her journey takes us beneath tales of successful middle class Indians who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s.

The gap between positive stereotypes of South Asian immigrants and the reality of Sita's family, who are struggling to stay above the poverty line is a relatively new theme for Indian literature in English.

Sita's struggles to be American and yet herself, take us deeper into understanding the dilemmas of first generation children, and how religion and culture define women.

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The Dohmestics
Edna, Amira, and Noof are neighbors but that doesn't mean they know what happens behind closed doors or that they have anything in common with their hired help.

Maria, Maya, and Lillie live in the same compound as their employers but that's where the similarities begin and end.

There's never a dull moment for anyone in this desert emirate.

The unending gossip and unrelenting competition may be business as usual for expatriate communities but the unspoken secrets threaten to destroy life as everyone knows it.

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From Dunes to Dior
Called everything from the world's richest to fattest nation, Qatar has been on the breakneck path towards change for several decades. The capital city Doha, is where our family of three has lived since 2005.

FROM DUNES TO DIOR is not the stuff of newspaper headlines (they made their money from oil! Thirty years ago everyone was living in tents!) but real life stories about being a South Asian American who lives here (no, I don't have to cover my hair, and yes, I can drive).

I had no idea that living the life of my dreams (including a husband and precious baby) would coincide with the rapid development of one the smallest and safest countries in the world, an oasis of calm smack dab in the global hotspot of the Middle East.

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Saving Peace
You go to college to meet your bridesmaids," or so the saying goes in North Carolina, on the campus of the all female Peace College. But what happens when the friends you thought you were making for life, betray you? The same ones you'd be in the retirement home with aren't speaking not ten years later?

The ups and downs of women's friendships are tested in SAVING PEACE. Thirty years intervene in the friendships begun at the all female Peace College.

Sib, the local news anchor with dreams of going national. Mary Beth, the capable, restless mother of three. Kim, the college president who admits male students.

SAVING PEACE is the story of promises made and broken, love found then lost, and redemption sought for the past. Three women. Two choices. One campus.

What if there's nothing worth saving?

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Hip Hop Dance - The American Dance Floor
Rapping. Breakdancing. MCing. DJing. Beatboxing. Graffiti art. These are just some of the most well-known artistic expressions spawned from hip hop culture, which has grown from being an isolated inner-city subculture in the 1970s to being a truly international and mainstream culture that has taken root in countries as diverse as Japan, France, Israel, Poland, Brazil, South Korea, and England.

Stemming from its humble origin as a lifestyle of minority youth in New York City, hip hop dance is now a global phenomenon that has transcended ethnicity, nationality, and language. Today's hip hop culture is so popular and pervasive, the U.S. Department of State describes hip hop as "now the center of a megamusic and fashion industry around the world."

This insightful book provides not only an overview of hip hop's distinctive dance style and steps, but also a historic overview of hip hop's roots as an urban expression of being left out of the mainstream pop culture, clarifying the social context of hip hop culture before it became a widespread suburban phenomenon. Hip Hop Dance documents all the forms of street music that led to one of the most groundbreaking, expressive, and influential dance styles ever created.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Mommy but Still Me
Imagine a man volunteering to trade in his game nights for heart burn and back ache. Good thing there are women around to ensure the survival of the species. This hilarious look at the journey from high heels to high blood pressure, as a jet setter turns into a bed wetter, is what your doctor won't tell you and your own mother may have forgotten in the years since she was blessed by your arrival.

At our first meeting my future father-in-law waited until we sat down in the Thai restaurant, the oblong menus placed in our hands and the waiter was a distance away, tending to other diners, before turning towards me, his eyes glowing. This was the first time we were all seeing each other after his son had proposed to me. "When will I get to hold my first grandchild?"

For my father-in-law and everyone else, I have a question of my own: When will any of you be satisfied?

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So You Want to Sell a Million Copies?
You're trying to write a book; and you're not the next Shakespeare - not yet, anyway. You could be. But no one will ever know if you don't get those marvelous words out on the page (or screen). In easy to do, daily steps and exercises, Mohana breaks down the steps of getting started as a creative writer. From getting past writer's block (excuse of the weak!) to putting that blog to work (every body's got one), the tools of the trade are revealed.

If you've had a story idea in your head for a day, year, (or longer) that it doesn't seem to be writing itself, you may want to take a closer look at this book. Designed as a concise guide for aspiring writers, you'll find here the key principles of how to get started, keep going, and finish a manuscript, all told by a fellow accidental writer who took the long way developing a writer's formula.

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Coloured and Other Stories
What's it like being the ant in the ice cream? The characters in this short story collection will show you; experience life as they know it as transplants from across the world into American suburbia.

Adapted from real life anecdotes both her own and those of others, Mohana takes us into the world of the South Asian immigrant living the American Dream. Think of her as a cultural translator for those who you may not notice otherwise, living in the margins of our cities.

"What are a few inches when you know he will provide for you the rest of your life," her mother would have said, smacking her in the cheek.

The sight of his feet, white, broad toes, and clean, short-clipped nails startled her. Americans normally wore their shoes everywhere; they had special shoes to wear inside their houses, shoes specifically for their bedrooms. BABY

Book Trailer: Coloured and Other Stories

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Qatari Voices
Qatari Voices is the first anthology that represents 25 young creative Qatari authors. The anthology reflects concerns and aspirations of the young Qatari generation illustrated in essays and stories.

They are intimate glimpses of old reminiscence and longing to the simple past, as well as photos that show concerns of a challenging present and aspirations to the future. They also tackle sensitive issues such as arranged marriages and gender discrimination. Qatari Voices is a mirror of reality of the Qatari society from a young generation perspective.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
Indie Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.