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Author Spotlight: Sapna Srinivasan Interviews Her Heroine and Has a Great Giveaway!

We have a winner! Congratulations, Lisa Mettler, you are Sapna’s winner of a $25 Amazon gift card! Sapna will be in touch with you! Thanks go everyone who stopped by the blog! Hope to see you often!

I love welcoming back my favorite authors, like Sapna Srinivasan, whose new book, A Mantra for Miss Perfect, book 3 in her Sood Family series releases today.

Sapna lives in Seattle, WA with her perfectionist husband and perfect daughter. Her name in Hindi means “dream” and true to its meaning, Sapna finds gratification in dreams and storytelling. She was born in southern India, raised in northern India, and spent the better part of her adult life in the United States. She, therefore, unabashedly clutches her Indian roots while embracing the American in herself. She loves to cook traditional Indian food and, yes, she uses cilantro in practically everything. When she isn’t cooking, writing, or being intellectually stumped by her daughter, she may be found running down the nearest trail by her Pacific Northwest home. The inspiration for her debut novel, A New Mantra, has been her own journey as both a woman of color and a runner; the latter being a sport that was introduced to her by her husband.

Today, Sapna is interviewing her heroine, Sahana Sood–check it out!

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An Imperfect Interview with Miss Perfect

Sapna: It is my pleasure to have with me today, Miss Sahana Sood, as my interviewee. Sahana is a successful corporate attorney at Yoland and Wiseman, she’s also a dutiful, Indian-American daughter who loves family traditions, and she’s a champion for perfectionism, and she’s er—single, ready to mingle, is that right, Sahana?

Sahana <frowning>: Yes, but you say it like it’s a bad thing.

Sapna: Not at all. In fact, I’d love to open with this question. Considering what a strong, independent personality you are, I assume nothing fazes you. Or am I wrong? Does Sahana Sood have a weak link?

Sahana: If I did, I’d never share it with anyone, especially a romance writer who could potentially turn it into her next story.

Sapna: Spoken like an attorney. Or is it who you are? Do you keep your true feelings hidden from the people who could use it against you?

Sahana: I’m a survivalist, yes. And if you knew my family, my cousins, especially, you’d understand why I need to be so guarded.

Sapna: Tell me more about that.

Sahana: At the risk of turning this interview into a therapy session…<breathes in deep> I’ll start by saying that being Miss Perfect in the Sood family comes at a high price. Just because I’m successful, I’m ambitious, I have dreams and goals, and I chase them down till I reach them, people assume I have no feelings. That’s their problem. My problem is that I won’t apologize for who I am. I like nice things, I like my fancy car, I like living in a nice neighborhood…I’ve worked hard all my life to get those things, none of them were a gift. But when people see me, that’s all they see. Sahana the bee-atch perfectionist who is out to prove her superiority. Well, that’s not true, or fair, if you think about it. My successes in life are in no way intended to pooh-pooh someone else’s life. My cousins sometimes forget I am human, with a beating heart that breaks just like anyone else’s.

Sapna: I think maybe you just revealed to me your weakest link.

Sahana: Maybe I intended to.

Sapna: How is it, that someone like you…someone who seems to have it all, beauty, brains, respect for your Indian-American family traditions, basically, the whole package, has been so unlucky in love?

Sahana: If I knew the answer to that, I wouldn’t be thirty-two and single right now. I don’t know why. But if I had to dissect my love life, I’d say it’s mostly because I have spent the lion’s share of my life chasing my career. I want to make my mom proud, because she gave everything to make sure I had a good upbringing. And when I got the dream career, the dream life, I suddenly looked around, and I was standing in it, all alone, no Mr. Right by my side.

Sapna: You say you want to make your mom proud. Would you say you’ve jeopardized your shot at love, in an attempt to make her happy?

Sahana <sighs>: I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t. I’m sure I have. Maybe in some ways, I want to fall in love with the kind of man she would approve.

Sapna: Is Ryan Mehra that man?

Sahana <eyes wide>: He’s…well, he’s the owner of the Wildling Inn, that my law firm is working to acquire for a client.

Sapna: You haven’t answered the question.

Sahana: That’s because you’re asking the wrong question. Ryan is…he’s handsome, and funny, and he’s a hard ass like I am…and man, is he stubborn—

Sapna: Like you?

Sahana: I’m tenacious, not stubborn. He’s stubborn. Period.

Sapna: Would you say he knows you better than you care to admit? Better than any of the other men you’ve dated?

Sahana: Yes, and I don’t appreciate him for it. He needs to find another hobby.

Sapna: Okay, one last question, if it wasn’t for your mother’s expectations, and your desperate need to check the “happily married” box, would you say Ryan could potentially be the one?

Sahana <stares back with pursed lips>: If he was, I’d never admit it to anyone, especially—

Sapna: Especially a romance writer who could turn it into her next story?

Sahana: Exactly.

Giveaway question: Do you have a weak link? You can answer yes or no, and if you feel comfortable sharing what it is, we would love to hear it. There are no wrong answers, and all responses will qualify for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

A Mantra for Miss Perfect

She has everything…except what she wants most.

Sahana Sood is beautiful, brilliant, and inches away from making junior partner at her downtown Seattle law firm. Ever the dutiful daughter, she’s lauded as Miss Perfect in her large Indian family and community. But Sahana is barely hiding her panic because, despite her best efforts and too many blind dates to count, she’s now thirty-two and has never come close to finding Mr. Perfect. Rumors are spreading—Sahana’s unlucky in love.

With marriage pressure mounting, Sahana buries herself in work. She’s confident she’ll close the acquisition deal for the Wilding Inn for her firm’s major client, but hits a snag. The handsome owner Ryan Mehra refuses to sell. He doesn’t need the money, the inn is a testament to his late parents’ love and he’d rather continue their legacy.

Sahana heads to the historic inn determined to not lose this deal. But the sparks that fly when she meets Ryan, who just might be more stubborn and driven than she is, soon have her worrying that instead of landing her partnership, she might lose her heart.

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  • Roseann McGrath Brooks

    Fun interview. Thanks! I like Sahana already! I keep wanting to say, “You hear yourself, right?” My weak link is overfunctioning, and, as others have said, trying to make everyone happy is a big part of that!

  • Patricia B.

    Yes I do. I have a tendency to over commit and get involved in too many things. I used to be able to balance it all, but getting over is making it a bit difficult.

    • Sapna Srinivasan

      As a people pleaser myself, I can totally relate. I find it hard to say “no” so naturally, I have no choice but to say “yes”. Suddenly I have ten thousand things I’m doing and just twenty four hours to do it.

  • flchen1

    LOL—soooo many weak links! From unwarranted pride to not being a great public speaker, I’ve got loads of things I’m not always comfortable revealing…. It’s encouraging to read about women who are also imperfect!

  • Kimberly

    I think my weak link is always trying to make everyone happy and not liking conflict, so I gave in a lot just to have peace. I would also do anything for my mom, just like I would have for my gram. I took care of my gram for many years.

    This was a fun to learn more about the heroine.

  • Latesha B.

    My weak link is my family and trying to please everyone at the expense of what I want. I enjoyed this interview and look forward to reading the story.

  • Lisa Mettler

    I used to be shy and quite and people took it for weakness. But I just studied people and didn’t trust them. Now I can say worrying what people think is a weakness of mine. Assuming people care as much about me as I do them. I end up hurt everytime.

  • Sue Farmer

    I really enjoyed this book. It changed my perception of Sahana from the first two books. I became more sympathetic to her character and I found I liked her and was rooting for her and Ryan.

    I am sure I have a weak link or two. I tend to overthink things and have trouble making a decision.

  • Chris Eboch

    “I’m tenacious, not stubborn. He’s stubborn.” – Ha Ha! Love it!

    I also want to tell Sahana that it’s fine to wait for marriage! (Yes, I know she’s fictional, but her responses feel so real.) I got married for the first time at forty and have never regretted waiting for the right person.

    • Sapna Srinivasan

      Totally agree! And that’s what I would tell my daughter as well. It’s a sad truth about marriage pressures in our traditional communities, regardless of the decades we’ve spent here in the U.S.

  • Janine

    I loved this interview. I liked getting to know more about Sahana. I do have a lot of weaknesses. Not being able to trust people when I first meet them is one of them.