Please welcome guest author Zee Monodee to the Cafe.
I knew I was wanted to speak about romance here today (hello, I am a romance author, after all, lol!), but what aspect of romance? Where does romance fit in real life?
And this is what got me thinking – real life and romance, an oxymoron?
I’ve been married for 13 years now, and lol, it was an arranged marriage (yes, I’m of Indian origin, after all!). I’d been married before, for love, but that had ended in an acrimonious divorce that had left scars because of the ‘love’ that had been involved and the subsequent betrayal of that love and the wakeup call to dismal reality. My second marriage? We had it nice; I mean, we were friends, liked each other, etc. Romance? Not really there back then…and that only came into our lives when 3 years after we’d been married, I was diagnosed with aggressive malignant breast cancer. Trust me – you fully understand the meaning of somebody sticking by your side and accepting you for all you are when you’re bald, puking your guts out every hour, and also missing a breast (I’d go on to miss both breasts a few years later when the cancer came back, opting out of lengthy & painful reconstruction, but anywho…). That’s when I saw real romance in my world, when this man who’d said ‘I do’ hung in there with me for better and worse, in health and in sickness, and verily, till death would do us part.
I know we all imagine romance as flowers and confetti and candlelit dinners and the like. Real life – well, that’s the stuff of purist literature (the kind that makes you want to a) become a cynic, or b) drown all your woes in alcohol if you do drink, or c) fall back on something that will never let you down aka chocolate).
There’s no place for real life in romance, and vice versa…Or so we’ve been led to believe! My experience has shown me that the most beautiful of romances happen when the going gets tough, when real life takes you down in the pits, but that other person is just there for you, with you, during every nanosecond of that fall.
So, real-life romance – not an oxymoron. And is this what I write about? Well, yes – I try to. My latest book (out on May 2 but already available for pre-order; find all the links here http://zeemonodee.blogspot.com/p/havisham-park.html) delves into an issue not really spoken about, aka anorexia and eating disorders. Why this topic? I have no clue other than it struck home and it resonated with me. What’s life like for someone suffering from anorexia? Can love – real-life romance – conquer it all?
I believe so, yes. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this question.
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After fainting backstage at a fashion week, supermodel Mary Beth Beresford is forced to go into hiding in the sleepy North Yorkshire village of Stonydale in Havisham Park when her sisters kidnap her and bring her there to their late father’s family stronghold so she’ll face the truth – she is anorexic.
Never one to be bossed around, Mary Beth attempts to break out the very next morning…only to land onto the path of the gorgeous, Viking-like pub owner and chef, Niall Barry.
Suddenly, sticking around in this one-horse town doesn’t look like Purgatory anymore.
But Niall is a very private person who shies away from celebrity, and Mary Beth is one of the biggest celebs on the planet. Not to mention that she is an aristocrat – daughter of the late earl and member of the peerage – while he is simply a working-class chef.
Is any relationship between them doomed to collapse like a failed soufflé?
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Zee hails from the multicultural, rainbow-nation island of Mauritius, in the southern Indian Ocean, where she grew up on the figurative fence—one side had her ancestors’ Indian and Muslim culture; the other had modernity and the global village. When one day she realised she could dip her toes into both sides without losing her integrity, she found her identity.
This quest for ‘finding your place’ is what she attempts to bring in all her stories, across all the genres she writes. Her heroines represent today’s women trying to reconcile love, life, & relationships in a melting pot of cultures, while her heroes are Alpha men who often get put back into their rightful place by the headstrong women she writes. Love is always a winner in her stories, though; that’s a given.
You can find out almost everything about her at her place on the web http://zeemonodee.blogspot.com/