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Author Spotlight: Sinclair Jayne Sawhney Talks Multicultural Romance

Audrey W! You are the winner of Sinclair’s fabulous giveaway this week! Sinclair will be in touch!

I love Author Spotlight days, particularly when I get to spotlight a fellow Tule author! Today, I’m featuring a great writer, who also happens to be my editor and good friend, Sinclair Jayne Sawhney. Sinclair Sawney is a former journalist and middle school teacher who holds a BA in Political Science and K-8 teaching certificate from the University of California, Irvine and a MS in Education with an emphasis in teaching writing from the University of Washington.

She has worked as Senior Editor with Tule Publishing for over seven years. Writing as Sinclair Jayne, she’s published fifteen short contemporary romances with Tule Publishing with another four books being released in 2021. Married for over twenty-four years, she has two children, and when she isn’t writing or editing, she and her husband, Deepak, are hosting wine tastings of their pinot noir and pinot noir rose at their vineyard, Roshni, which is a Hindi word for light-filled, located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

She’s here to tell us all about her new books with Tule Publishing, The Misguided Masala Matchmaker series. Book 1, A Hard Yes, releases today!

Sinclair, the blog is all yours!

I am really excited that the release day for A Hard Yes has arrived. This series is a bit of a departure for me as it is my first adventure writing a multicultural romance. For twenty-five years, I’ve been married to my husband, Deepak, who immigrated with his family from Delhi when he was nine. We have two children and a large, extended family in the southeast portion of the country, mostly in North Carolina, Charlotte area. I have loved being surrounded and immersed in the Indian culture—food, traditions, music, family, stories. Raising two biracial children often had me pondering the place they would build for themselves in the world.

I received the green light for writing the series when I was in a Tule Publishing meeting freestyling about how I had met my husband and some of the ups and downs of the early days of our romance. Several people on the Zoom laughed and also had an embarrassing amount of “what? You’re kidding” moments, and then I was encouraged to write about it. Before the nerves could kick in, I rashly jumped and said I’d do it. Publicly. Normally I write contemporary romances under the pen Sinclair Jayne, but with this series, I added my married name, Sawhney.

When thinking about a hook for the series, I liked the matchmaker idea, but I wanted to put a fresh twist on it, so I created a floundering youngest daughter who is in grad school for psychology and desperate for a dissertation topic. Her solution is NOT popular with her siblings or cousins but provides some comic relief along with pointed insights about connection, self-acceptance, compromise, sacrifice, courage, and passion.

The series is tightly connected because I created a family—the Kapoors, and each book explores the adventures as each of the four adult children fall in love, but because the family is close and each book centers on a Hindu holiday or festival or wedding, the family is often together—a lot of personalities and conversations to juggle. Yet, the challenge was fun and appropriate because Indian families are so close and social and in everyone’s business, so the stories would have seemed empty with just the couple.

A Hard Yes was harder for me to write than I had anticipated because it was based on how I met and fell in love with my husband.  None of my stories have been so personal, and yet A Hard Yes is definitely a work of fiction. I was never as cool or talented as my heroine Solei Beals, but since romance books are often an escape with a touch of fantasy, I figured I’d give myself a ginormous reboot and refresh, because in a book, I can. There is more of my husband in Rohan Kapoor, the golden son, (and yes someone actually said that to me at my sangeet (engagement party), than he’d probably like to admit, but he would never wear the flashy clothes Rohan parades around in, but hey, a woman can dream of her man not usually wearing college sweatshirts, right?

Solei and Rohan’s book is a romance, but it’s also a love story to my husband, my Charlotte family by marriage, my children, who are just starting to explore dating, and what I have learned and love about the Indian culture. I wanted to explore the richness of the Indian culture in America and celebrate how so many people of Indian descent manage to keep their cultural traditions alive while still striving and thriving in so many aspects of American life. It is my hope that readers learn a little more about the Indian culture, but also take away the impression that there is less that divides us than there is that connects us to each other.

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Sinclair is giving away a super prize package including Starbucks thermal mug, $10 gift card, Ganesh key chain, a pair of “I’m Introverting” socks, and a colorful Indian bangle (costume jewelry) to one lucky commenter.  Hope you’ll leave a comment for a chance to win this fun package! (Giveaway for contiguous US only)

A Hard Yes

Is it a love for the ages or just a season?

Rohan Kapoor is the golden boy of Charlotte. As a newly minted cardiothoracic surgeon with several prestigious job offers, potential brides eagerly line up when his parents—pillars in their Indian American community—hire a matchmaker. Even his favorite cousin Rani has a plan to divine his perfect match. But Rohan’s not looking for a bride, and then he takes a wrong turn, meeting a woman who changes the way he feels about everything.

After years of traveling and painting commissioned murals, artist Solei Beals wants to plant roots now that she’s been hired as a high school art teacher. She meets Rohan at an art festival, and the attraction sizzles. During the festival of Holi, Solei admits she’s fallen in love with a man who’s made it clear he’s not free to commit beyond spring.

As summer teases, Rohan’s family obligations and expectations create a barrier Solei’s not sure he’s willing to breach. And if Rohan’s not willing to fight for her or the life he says he wants, why should she?

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  • Kimberly Field

    Sounds like a great read. I worked for a doctor yrs ago and she shared some of the Indian foods with us. I am normally a picky eater, but she invited a few of us to her home for a meal. It will always be one of my favorite memories. I loved everything she served us.

  • Kaz Delaney

    Congratulations on the latest book Sinclair. This story intrigues me and I’m really looking forward to reading it. In my last teaching post we had a very high percentage of Indian and Sri Lankan students and I met some truly beautiful families, and children who stole my heart. It will be interesting to see a family such as these interact from a different angle.

    • Sinclair Jayne Sawhney

      My husband always teases me about my “poly sly” degree and yet, I feel like I really understand the world by studying politics because there is so much history, culture, politics, sociology and economics in that major that I learned a lot about not on the world, but also people of the world and how lives are impacted by politics. It’s weird, our daughter was always wanting to study biochemistry and genetics, and yet once she hit college she’s not political science, history and philosophy.

    • Sinclair Jayne Sawhney

      I hope you enjoy it Patty. I lived a lot of the research, but I still had to do a lot of research, and yet the book has a light, fun style, which is what I was going for. Serious and yet lighthearted and loving.

  • Roseann Brooks

    Just bought my copy from Amazon and can’t wait to read it while on a business trip next week. Your engaging writing style in the blog enticed me to add it to my reading list!

    • Sinclair jayne Sawhney

      Wow Roseann,
      That is a huge and very exciting compliment. I hope your business trip is successful and that you enjoy the book. I had a ton of fun writing it, and even though there is my usual intense or angsty moments, this book has a lot of lightness and humor because the relationship between Rohan and his friends and cousins is so close and longstanding. They know each other, love each other and would do anything for each other. I love that closeness.

  • Janine

    I love the background of this story (and series). I was hooked right from the start. And knowing it is loosely based on how you and your husband met, make s it even better.

    So, was the scene where the women in the family took Solei upstairs and dressed her in traditional Indian clothing true? That part really made me smile. It was like they fully welcomed her to the family then.

    I can’t wait to read the next book.

  • Audrey W.

    Cheers to love! It’s always fun to see the genesis of stories. Glad to know of this one, and congratulations on the release, Sinclair!

    • Sinclair Jayne Sawhney

      Thank you so much Audrey. It’s always exciting when a book releases, but this one more than the others has had me excited and anxious at the same time. My husband says that he’s going to read this one–we’ll see. He’s not much of a fiction reader so any shift from the actual facts will earn me some serious side-eye. And I never met a story I didn’t want to embellish

    • Sinclair Jayne Sawhney

      Thank you, Elsa. It really did feel good to write this story, especially as this year my mother-in-law passed, and she taught me so many things about cooking and traditions and told me so many stories of her life growing up, so it feels good to get a little of my life out there.

  • Liz Flaherty

    Oh, Sinclair, what a great gift to your husband and your readers. I love the premise and wish you great sales and even greater feedback–the story is certainly deserving of both.