A New Voice: Zainab Muhammad Shaheed and Kaneez’s Bulbul

Today was release day for Love Unlimited Anthology which features stories by eleven authors (including moi!) about love and its many incarnations. I didn’t say much about this anthology because I figured I had so many things on my plate as it was that you guys must be shaking your heads every time I write about one more project – even as my own project, Falling for Jordan, languishes in the sidelines and may be pushed back indefinitely.

So I figured I’d wait until release day to say something about it.

Well, I’m really happy for this anthology because not only are there eleven stories that cross generations, cultural backgrounds, and borders, there are three (I think there are three!) debut writers in the mix! Love Unlimited Anthology is their first published work and I am just so thrilled for them! Like… beyond thrilled. I’m also happy that I haven’t scared them off with my crankiness throughout the whole process!

But kidding aside, one of the stories I was looking forward to the most was Zainab Muhammad Shaheed’s story, Kaneez’s Bulbul. It’s world literature which is something I love and miss terribly. One of my favorite authors is Khaled Husseini who wrote The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, both books which reduced me to tears. When I read that Zainab’s story is set against the Partition of India and Pakistan, I found myself impatient to read her story. Forget that I formatted the book, I waited until release day to read it!

And honestly, it reminds me why I love world literature. There is no Hollywood ending, no Disney versions of life stories that I’ve gotten used to reading everywhere. No, Kaneez’s Bulbul is still a story about love and I know I’ll be thinking about Kaleem and his beloved long after tonight.

So if you haven’t picked it up yet, please do. It’s free and it’s a wonderful introduction to new-to-you writers with refreshing voices like Zainab. It’s even available in paperback – although I’d give it 3 days while I tweak a few things under the hood and call it done.

EDITED TO ADD: And would you look at that? I wrote a Facebook version of the post above and it turned out completely different!

Love Unlimited Anthology is Finally Here!

Did I ever tell you that I’m part of LOVE UNLIMITED, an anthology of short stories and novellas about love that crosses generations, cultural backgrounds, and borders?

Yep, I am!

There are some really cool stories in this collection (like mine!) and I hope you’ll check it out.

Oh, did I tell you that it’s FREE??? Yep, it is!

My story is Starting Over, and I may – or may not – have had Tom Hiddleston in mind when I wrote it. Unfortunately, my teaser does not look anything like Tom but he’s not bad looking either.

Download the anthology here.

Not Exactly Distraction-Free Writing

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I’ve been pretty distracted these days. Too much to check online, whether it’s my sales numbers for the day, my Facebook and Amazon ads, and networking – all of which take so much time from my writing. It doesn’t help that I’ve currently got three projects due.

  1. Revision/edits for Loving Riley. Story of my life, this is still ongoing and I don’t know when I’ll ever get my butt in gear to get this book done and dusted. I’ve never been so critical of a story for as long as I can remember. It honestly scares the crap out of me to release this baby and guaranteed, when I do, it will be quiet. I’m that scared.
  2. A novella for Sarah and Benny, characters you may have met if you read Everything She Ever Wanted. Yes, they are getting their own story and it will be part of a box set that’s coming out in May. I’m excited and hope I can get those 15K words flowing, no problem. I just wish I could release it sooner – but before I can worry about that, I have to write it first lol
  3. A series of three books under a pen name. Yup, pen name central, here I come. I thought I’d be able to get it done in the next three days, but with the little guy on holiday break, my days have been filled with kid-related activities and I can barely hear myself think, much less write anything until he and his dad go to bed – which unfortunately has become the same time my brain shuts down as well.

So with all those things on my plate, I need some distraction-free writing the moment the kid heads to school on Monday. I’ve pulled out the big guns for this AKA my Alphasmart Neo2.

It’s a sturdy distraction-free writing tool only because it was built for school kids and has no internet – no Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, or any social media. You just write your heart out and then transfer all that text to your MacBook when you’re done.  All for under $30 on eBay.

You need a cable, of course, to do transfer your files (and you can even blog on it and then transfer that into your blogging window), and it acts like a keyboard emulator. In fact, you can even use it as an external keyboard if you want and that’s what I’m doing now. So happy to have found the cable…

Unfortunately, connecting it to my MacBook just presented me with distracted writing instead. Not exactly distraction-free writing, is it?