If one grows up in India, it is inevitable that one is influenced by Bollywood, the affectionate and slightly mocking term for Bombay Hollywood. Bollywood churns out more movies each year than any other country in the world. Why? Because there is so much poverty and despair, that a movie packed with action, color, dance sequences, and a dramatic love story offers the perfect escape from reality.
Bollywood movies are vastly entertaining – often three hours long. And they are addicting. When people pay a lot of money and stand in long lines for tickets in the heat or rain of tropical India, they want their money’s worth – at least three hours’ worth.
As a starry-eyed teenager in India, I grew up on a steady diet of Bollywood stories. I used to wonder why such wildly exciting tales couldn’t be put in a book. After waiting for many long years for such an author to emerge, I gave up the wait and decided to write “Bollywood in a Book” myself. My books are women’s fiction bubbling with high emotion, drama, some romance, and lots of cultural detail – all the elements of Bollywood.
My first two books were set in India and dealt with hot-button social issues that plague women in contemporary India – the practices of dowry and aborting female fetuses in a male-oriented society. My third novel was set in Edison, New Jersey, and portrayed the immigrant experience in suburban America.
The Unexpected Son is my latest book, set partly in India and partly in the U.S. It tells the tale of a happily married woman who wakes up one morning to a shocking truth: she has a grown son in India, a child she was told was stillborn 30 years ago. Now he is fighting for his life. Confessing her secret to her family could ruin them and her – and yet, she is compelled to return to her battle-scarred town in India and reconcile with her past, and her unknown son.
A Note From Shobhan – Information about my books, video trailers, contact, photos from India, reviews, contests, and recipes is available on my website: http://www.shobhanbantwal.com/. Enter a giveaway on my website during August for a FREE copy of The Unexpected Son. You can also visit me on Facebook and MySpace. All my books can be purchased at any retail bookstore or online bookseller.
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About The Unexpected Son
What happens when a woman who’s realized her dreams wakes up to a shocking truth? It is a morning like any other in suburban New Jersey when Vinita Patil opens the battered envelope postmarked “Mumbai.” But the letter inside turns her comfortable world upside down. It tells Vinita an impossible story: she has a grown son in India whose life may depend on her.
Once upon a time, a naive young college girl fell for a wealthy boy whose primary interests were cricket and womanizing. Vinita knew, even then, that a secret affair with a man whose language and values were different from her own was a mistake. He finished with her soon enough—leaving her to birth a baby that was stillborn. Or so Vinita was told.
Now that child is a grown man in desperate need. How will she confess her secret past to her arranged-marriage husband and her grown daughter? Nonetheless, to help her son, to know him, Vinita must revisit her darkest hours by returning to her battle-scarred homeland—and pray for the faith of the family she leaves behind.
Her writing career is a “menopausal epiphany,” because she took up creative writing at the age of 50. By day Shobhan works for the government. In the evenings and on weekends she slips into her writer’s cape and flies off to Authorland. She loves writing stories about her native India and Hindu culture.
To date, Shobhan has four published novels by Kensington Publishing, with a fifth slated for 2011. Since 2002, Shobhan’s articles and short stories have appeared in a variety of publications. Her award-winning stories are available for reading on her website: http://www.shobhanbantwal.com/