Book Review ~ Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar’s “Love Comes Later”

The power of love stories comes from many different cultures. Sometimes we forget it’s not all just Regency romances, popular modern erotica made famous (ahem! “50 Shades of Grey”), or contemporary chick-lit. “Love Comes Later” by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a new, modern love story of cultural differences, friendship and a discovery of love that risks its boundaries.

This modern tale begins in Qatar with Abdullah, a young husband and soon-to-be father whose world falls apart when he suddenly loses his pregnant wife and their unborn child in a car accident. He is heartbroken and racked with guilt, blaming his selfishness and workaholic mindset in not having driven his wife as planned one morning. Inconsolable, he vows to himself to never marry again. But three years later, Abdullah’s family pressures him to marry again a member of their extended family, as part of their cultural duty and expectations.

Hind, is a modern Qatari girl, like Abdullah, highly educated, both their families are wealthy and both are cousins, a perfect match as far as their families can see. But, both are reluctant to get married, let alone to each other for reasons that will never be understood or accepted by the traditions they are bound to. So, Hind plans an excuse to put off her wedding to Abdullah, for one more year, announcing she must finish her Masters degree in London, England. Abdullah agrees, somewhat relieved as well.

From here, the story picks up it’s pace, taking the reader to London and begins to take the story to interesting twists and turns different from where you think the story will originally lead them. Hind meets Sangita, an American raised Indian. She is opposite of everything Hind is, confident, independent, forward and very Americanized. They become fast friends after meeting in class and soon become roommates. Their friendship leads them to discover the similarities in each others’ upbringing along with goals and dreams they both hope to achieve one day. As the year approaches near to Hind and Abdullah’s pending wedding, Hind makes a decision one day to take a quick weekend trip to India with Sangita’s brother, Ravi. This sets the course for both women, especially when Abdullah decides to make a surprise visit while she’s gone. Sangita is left to entertain and stall Abdullah, lying to him for Hind’s sake. This unlikely couple instead find a forbidden attraction they both don’t expect and a comfortable rapport with someone they weren’t looking for.

Author Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar
Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was good in many ways, since that is where she met her husband, had a baby, and made the transition from writing as a hobby to making it her full-time gig. She has published three e-books this year: Mommy but Still Me, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies, and Coloured and Other Stories. Since she joined the e-book revolution, she has dreamed in plotlines.
Mohanalakshmi Phongsavan, PhD
Maktaba, Children’s Library Project, co-founder
Twitter @moha_doah

“Love Comes Later” is an enjoyable read that pulled me in from the start. Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar has weaved a realistic story of characters from an exotic, unfamiliar, wealthy country which many may not know much of in the Western World. Abdullah, is literally the perfect, “tall, dark and handsome”, silent brooding male hero that any woman would fall for.  Sangita and Hind are the yin and yang to Abdullah’s future. You identify with the characters, the closeness of family, the pressure to marry, friendship that is tested, and the desire to freely choose your own happiness. The beauty of this story is in the details and descriptions of modern life in Qatar and India. Each character is fully realized with the path they choose to follow, regardless of the consequences, regardless of what they stand to lose.

“Love Comes Later” brings two people together and tears two friends apart. You find yourself hoping each one of these characters gets what they want. In the end, we find everyone is reaching for happiness that is just within reach, hoping their own choices will bring love, later.

I’m an escapist kind of writer. ~ Maeve Binchy

It seems that every popular writer/author that I admire and adore are passing away too soon and so suddenly. I can only wish that one day I will leave some kind of memory of my written words on others, to be affected and moved, if not in the least, for someone to identify with my writing whether you love or hate it. I never had the chance to read all of Maeve Binchy’s books, but love her book “The Maeve Binchy Writer’s Club” as much as “Circle of Friends”. Her advice on living writer’s life, how to write and get published has that Irish humor where you felt she was talking to you directly, like a girlfriend at the pub, making you laugh, encouraging you to keep on writing no matter what. Reading it, makes me feel like I’m part of her writing circle, it stands on my bookshelf of favorites.

Maeve Binchy could not have been more opposite from Nora Ephron in almost every way but both their wit and warmth shine through in their stories. They showed their love of family and friends, the trials of these relationships, the inner strength of a woman’s survival over adversity, and most of all, the humor that reminds you life is worth living when you can laugh about the bumps along the road.

Maeve Binchy

Like Nora Ephron, I would have loved to have met her or been blessed to have known her. Good women writers are not hard to come by, but a good female writer, who is known for her kindness and generosity are the ones who’ll be remembered.

The Writing Life

It’s Writer’s Room Wednesday, and what better way to find out what it’s like to be a writer for those aspiring and those who are published on what a “typical” day is like for them.


One of my favorite sites is The Writers Alley. They are a group of female writers or “Alley Cats” as they call themselves, juggling family life with their writing time, that contribute to the blog, taking turns on a daily basis (except for the weekends) about a specific writing topic. I enjoyed reading this post about their writing life, which is similar to mine on some days, good and bad, depending which way the wind blows. I wish there was more structure to mine, and hopefully may just get it, once my son starts nursery school this fall on a part time basis. Then, I will finally have my “writing life” back to myself. Enjoy!

The Writing Life

Time to Write

Image from at sk.wikipedia

“You don’t find time to write. You make time. It’s my job.”

– Nora Roberts

It’s Monday, the first day of my Writer’s Contract, and so far-not good. I didn’t wake up early like I planned, and I didn’t even set the alarm. My best excuse which is true, was because I chose to be a reader-knowing the consequences the next day. I was up til’ late in to the a.m. hours reading my latest book purchase, Deborah Harkness’s “Shadow of Night”, the second book of her All Souls Trilogy. A good story affects anyone of all ages, you are lost in another world and become part of the book. Like any engrossed reader, I couldn’t put the book down. A writer should be able to forgive their self at least for that reason alone. I’m just sayin’. Which brings me back to the reality of not writing during the best time of day for me, at 5a.m. before my family is up and tugging at my “apron strings”. I still have until 5:30p.m. today to write my one hour of only writing without any disturbance. I’m just bummed it wasn’t the first thing in the day I did.

Being a stay at-home mom, I know it means staying flexible yet staying focused with my  time management. It’s not easy, and only seasoned professionals can do it seamlessly. I’m not a Type-A person although I wish I was sometimes. I’m learning as I go like and promise myself my writing will get done today. So, like the quote by Nora Roberts, but with a dash of Gwen on top. “I make time. No excuses”.

Here’s some tips that you might find helpfull:

The Truth About Finding Time To Write.

Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

I love reading writer’s tips and advice. Sometimes it helps not having to buy a million “how-to” books when your bookshelf is full. I love historical fiction and have wondered myself aside from knowing research is involved, how to go about it. Here’s my “Friday Find” from DIY-MFA (Do It Yourself-MFA):

Top 10 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction by Leanna Renee Hieber « DIY MFA.

The Art of Ghost Writing

Welcome to Writer’s Room Wednesdays! Each week I like to have writers from different genres and specializations be a guest blogger and offer their take on their career as a writer. I believe information shared is a great way to learn something new that we’ve never considered before and can add to our skills and knowledge as freelance writers and authors, or know whom to consider for the right job.

This week my guest blogger is Karen Cole of, her site offers services in ghost writing. The world of ghost writing is not for the faint of heart as far as those seeking acknowledgement for their work but can be just as satisfying a career if you truly love to write in whatever form it may be. Here’s Karen’s take on ghost writing.

What is Ghost Writing, Exactly?

By Karen Cole
Ghost writing is basically a piece of work written by one individual, called a ghost writer, while another individual gets all of the credit for the piece. For example, lots of celebrities and popular politicians enlist the help of ghost writers when they create their speeches, biographies or memoirs.

Reasons for ghost writing

The most important thing about using a ghost writer is that it gives the clients an opportunity to get a good writing piece without worrying about things like grammatical mistakes and spelling errors. In some cases, these individuals opt for ghost writers because they are so busy that they cannot write a text piece.

Clients may hire the services of ghost writers in order to create a positive impression on the mind of the public or their competitors. The best example in this regard is politicians that hire ghost writers when it comes to writing their speeches.

Functions of a ghost writer

You will find variations in the text amounts and types offered by a ghost writer, depending on the ghost writing contract between you. It is worthwhile mentioning that plenty of individuals decide to write the major chunk of their writing on their own, using a ghost writer just for polishing the content.

In this scenario, the main function of the ghost writer is to edit the document in a proper manner, getting rid of errors and giving professional feedback. However, when you hire a ghost writer for the full project, he is going to do everything – from content creation to research work.

For writing a biography, the ghost writer needs to review your background thoroughly. He may need to interact with your friends and colleagues, because without getting the right kind of information he will not be able to ghost write a good biography. You must also help your ghost writer by offering him a full outline of your past for your biography.

Cautions for ghost writers

If you are interested in becoming a ghost writer, you need to have certain skills. To start with, your grammatical skills need to be good. In addition, you should have a proper understanding of text usages. As a ghost writer, you also need to understand the requirements of clients. If that is not the case, you will not be able to give a personal feel to the written text. Ideally, when someone hires your services as a ghost writer you will ensure that the text you ghostwrite highlights the personality of your client. You need to modify your ghost writing style on the basis of this.

While working as a ghost writer you are not going to get much recognition, but there are several advantages associated with it. You are going to get decent payments from your clients for your hard work. The kind of payments that you get will be dependent on the complexity of each project and the contract between you and the client. Upfront payment is usually the mainstay of a professional ghost writer, but that will depend on the agreements between you and your clients.

GHOST WRITER, INC: Karen Cole is an affordable book ghost writer, copy editor, proof reader, rewriter and book author with a team of 100+ writing field and book / screenplay workers, some of which are New York Times best-selling authors. We do inexpensive marketing, promotions and publishing or optioning assistance, and we have contacts with literary agents, commercial publishers and literary or film field professionals. We also offer ghost writers for music and composition, such as rap music and other genres, and we have ghost writing for Facebook and Twitter as well.

Monday’s Muse-The Writer’s Contract by Aimee Bender

“In a mood of faith and hope my work goes on. A ream of fresh paper lies on my desk waiting for the next book. I am a writer and I take up my pen to write.”

Pearl S. Buck quotes (American author, 1938 Nobel Prize for Literature, 1892-1973)

I consider Monday’s to be a day for motivation and to find your muse for inspiration to get through the week. Here’s a great article from famed writer Aimee Bender. The Writer’s Contract Guidelines might help you find a way to stay committed to writing and “in good faith”, show up for your work.

I’m going to give it a try and use my wonderful supportive sister to hold me accountable for my writing. Writer’s need schedules, especially the ones that have no control over theirs-like me! With a toddler on the loose in the house, Mommy here needs to have a ritual besides feed, play with, bathe and put to sleep the baby. Easier said than done, but anything and everything is always worth a try in order to find time to write.

Contract Writer’s Guidelines – Writer’s Contract –

Sleepless in L.A.

I never realized what a great influence Nora Ephron was on me or how much of a fan I was of her work until hearing of her passing last week Tuesday. I was overcome with sadness and felt lost for a moment, and wondered what is to become of the intelligent romance films that we are so used to seeing from her? I thought of her witty blogs on Huffington Post, who else can write with her cheeky verve and smarts? Whenever replays of “When Harry Met Sally”, “You’ve Got Mail” or “Sleeples In Seattle” (I read someone calling it the “holy trinity” of romance movies) come on the T.V., to the dismay of my husband for using DVR space, I happily record these movies to watch later on, delete them and then repeat the next time they are on T.V. again. You’d think by now he’d get the hint and buy the DVD’s for me or I should have them myself by now-but I digress. As I told him, they are my “comfort and inspiration” movies and being a mom at 42 of a precocious 2yr. old, I am living out another life whenever I watch Nora Ephron films, as a way of taking a short vacation.

I also have her book, “Wallflower at the Orgy”, about her time as a journalist which is a compilation of essays and magazine articles. These articles display her wit and sharpness as a writer. She had the career most female writers and I would love to have, but for me I never had the guidance or drive to try and keep pushing forward. I went about becoming a writer, not the wrong way, but the harder way. Harder being my lack of confidence and the lack of support from family members. I’ve been writing all my life, but when it came time to make my career decision while in college, I followed another love, art history, but it wasn’t my passion. To make a long story short, I am now a writer, although not the best and and not the consistent writer I’d like to be, I am doing what I love and am passionate about.

In Nora Ephron’s death and reading of her career accomplishments, her generosity as a friend and mentor, her love of food, cooking and entertaining, and love for her family and friends, I’ve fallen in love all over again with being a writer and appreciate more now the good things and the people in life that matter to me. I’m not one of the lucky people that  had the chance to meet or know Nora Ephron, but through her films I’ll at least feel what it’s like to be a part of her world, and through her writings, I will always be motivated by what it takes to be a good writer.