The Joy of Romance

I'm thrilled because August 1 marks the start of Read-A-Romance Month, a month long online celebration of romance and the romance genre created by the brilliant Bobbi Dumas. This year, I'm even more joyful because the uber awesome and indomitable Sonali Dev actually mentioned me in her RARM post. SQUEE! Thank you, darling!

So here's my contribution to RARM 2015:

I read and write romance because it brings me joy.

One of the first things I fell in love with in Texas are the long stretches of desolate roads ribboning into the horizon under a wide open sky. I'd get in my truck, turn the radio on and take off. The exhilarating rush of freedom filled me with joy. A joy that made me grin and feel invincible.

But recently, after Sandra Bland and her ill-fated Texas traffic stop, I have lost that particular joy. Now when I drive, especially along almost empty stretches, my heart hammers a frantic beat as it climbs into my throat and I keep checking for law enforcement. I'm not Black, but I'm not White either. I'm brown with a Muslim name. More importantly, I'm a woman.

Sometimes I think most of the world has declared a war against women.

I know I need to reclaim my joy, master my fears, and live. So I seek refuge in romance.

Romance knows no boundaries: people of all colors, all orientation, all religious identity, all economic strata, from different worlds and of various abilities, fall in love. That is the root of all conflict and also hope.

Experiencing two characters falling in love fills me with hope. I dream with them about a wonderful future, I swoon at that perfect dialogue and first kiss, I wonder how these two will overcome the roadblocks in their relationship and how they'll be better together, I shed tears for them and cheer them on.

No matter how tough things get, the hero and heroine may falter and stumble, but they never give up the love they feel for each other. Heroines and heroes are strong, unique and celebrated as individuals and together.

When they finally earn their Happily-Ever-After, I'm filled with hand-clapping, twirling joy.

When the world seems to be falling apart, romance shares an important message: "Love Conquers All."

I know the stories I read and write are fiction and they can only hold me for a little while. I know the glass is both half-full and empty, but I choose to celebrate the water within the glass and the love within the pages. Sometimes, you just need that bit of a respite, a reminder of what is important, to catch your breath and continue to live life with joy in your heart.

Recommendations: Here are some authors who have helped replenish me -- Sharon Shinn, Marjorie M. Liu, Patricia Briggs, Nalini Singh, Jeffe Kennedy, and Sonali Dev, L.J. Charles and Sabaa Tahir and so many more.

Q and A:

1 - Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.

Mina: Wildfire won the 2014 Prism award for best first book. The first time I held the award in my hands, surrounded by my family and friends, with chocolates (I was at the KOD Death by Chocolate party) waiting for me was when I experienced sheer, perfect joy.

2 - Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

Mina: The Llano River. A beautiful river to play in, water so clear you can see fish, rocky outcrops to climb and explore, wildflowers in bloom. This was where my DH first said "I love you" to me and where we've spent countless family reunions. It always brings me joy.

3 - Tell us about a sound that brings you joy (or a memory attached to sound — music, laughter, wind chimes… ?)

Mina: My daughter's unrestrained giggles.

4 - What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu, a paranormal romance, was life changing for me in terms of reading and writing. It’s partially set in China and the hero, Hari, is Indian and a tiger shifter. I not only loved the story (still do), but it also opened my mind to the reality that yes, you can have stories set in Asia, with Asian heroes and Asian foundations. It made me realize I could write my stories.

5 - And for fun, the joy of choice ;o) ~
Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) - trying for a little diversity! ;o)

Mina: Chris Pine! 

Leave a comment telling me what brings you joy (and your email or twitter handle so I can contact you if you win) and you maybe randomly picked to win a signed copy of WILDFIRE.



Author Mina Khan, originally from Bangladesh, is now a proud West Texan. She writes fiction dealing with identity, feminist issues and multicultural influences.

She’s also worked for about 20 years as a journalist, covering business, technology, politics, and government in Bangladesh and the U.S. Now she writes a weekly food column for her local paper.

To sign up for Mina’s quarterly newsletter with release updates and inside information on the stories, please check out: 

An Ode To My Cats

My mother said
I live in a House of Cats

Cats rule the roost
And I
No longer own my house.

I chose to take her words
As a compliment.

My cats make
The faux Persian carpet
That much prettier.
My cats
make my house
Into home.

(Tramp -- DH found her as a tiny, scrawny kitten on the farm. Her mother had died and she was all alone. She's our Alpha Kitty)

(I fell in love with Yoda, when I was helping a friend find homes for her cat's kittens. He's lovable rogue and I should have named him Hans Solo.)

Missing: Gypsy, a calico, who is impossible to photograph and the late, sweet Buckets, who is greatly missed.



A #RockStarRomance With A Good Cause

Sometimes I come across books that give back & I like to highlight them. 

Author Theresa Hissong gives 50% of the proceeds from Fully Loaded to Star Treatments, an organization that gives kids battling cancer a VIP experience while taking them to & from medical appointments.

Here's bit about the book:

His hair was dark, long, and straight, his eyes were as blue as the deepest part of the ocean, very similar to my own. The band’s bassist looked like a walking orgasm. His eyes were on me, captivating me…devouring me.
Donovan Milano could have any girl he wants, but he singles me out from his spot on the stage. The talented bassist heats my body in ways that I’ve never know before now. With just one look, I find myself captured in his web of erotic desires.
When my health takes a turn for the worse, will he stay by my side, or pack his things to go on to the next stop in his road to stardom?

Even better: Matt DiRito, the bassist rock band Pop Evil, is the brains & heart behind Star Treatments. He is also Theresa's rockin' muse. :)

A FREE Sexy Scribblers Story: Scandalous (a paranormal romance short)

I'm super thrilled to be part of the Sexy Scribbler, a group of 14 authors. We take turns to write different parts of free short stories to share with readers, and today the first episode of the first story went live! WooHoo! Lol, it just happens to be a paranormal so I'm extra happy...enjoy!


Episode 1 by Chanta Rand

He smelled bacon.
He mentally struggled with whether to get up and eat or to lay comatose.
Comatose felt good.
Eating would mean dealing with his cotton-dry mouth and the insistent pounding at his hotel door.
He rolled over in his king-sized bed and cracked an eye open. His gaze landed on a plate stacked with strips of bacon, and a mountain of scrambled eggs slathered in Tabasco sauce—just the way he liked them.
He’d eaten the same breakfast ever since he’d bought this hotel years ago. Everything was as it should be, except for the idiot at his door. Who had the balls to disturb him after a night of…hell, what had he been doing last night?
His mind barreled through his memory bank until he remembered. Oh yeah, he’d gotten shitfaced with his cousin, Willard and his brother, Bubba. He could hold his liquor better than the average man, but last night he had a good reason for getting tanked.
Grumbling, he tossed his sheets aside and slid out of the bed stark naked. He yanked on a pair of jeans he found discarded on the carpet in the bedroom of his suite. He hobbled barefoot to the front room, but he pulled up short when he saw a buxom blonde sit up on the couch and wipe the sleep from her eyes. The words, Big Tits Ain’t a Crime stretched across the front of her tight t-shirt.
Incredulous, he rasped, “What the hell are you doing here, Anita?”
She yawned. “Hope you don’t mind, Reed. I crashed on your couch. But don’t worry. You and me didn’t do nuthin’. You was too drunk.”
Thank God! Sex was so much better when he had the memories to rewind.
“I don’t have to be at work for a few hours,” she added, a flicker of hope dancing across her cherub face. “I got time for a quickie.”
Anita was a maid at his hotel. In addition to her irritating habit of using her key to get into his room, she was also engaged to Willard. Reed enjoyed a good fuck, but not at the expense of someone’s fiancĂ©.
“Some other time,” he lied as he walked with a slight limp toward the door. The hangover was temporary. The limp wasn’t. Most everybody in town knew how he’d sustained his injury. Women thought the cane he used was sexy. There was no accounting for female reasoning. His family had run this town for three generations. Power was one hell of an aphrodisiac.
He hoped Willard wasn’t on the other side of that door with a a pair of steel knuckles. Of course, it could be the police, too. He’d been known to raise hell during a night of drinking. But, he didn’t take the cops seriously. He’d gone to middle school with half of ‘em and played varsity football with the other half.
When he opened the door, he stared into the face of a strange woman. She was graced with high cheekbones, a mane of raven hair, and a long, slender neck he would love to sink his teeth into. Her stunning sable skin was marred only by the tight scowl she gave him. It was obvious she had a bone to pick. Adam had already sacrificed a rib for men everywhere. Reed would be damned if he let this beauty take one of his.