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And You're Just Not My Type's Chapter One is Here!
I’m listening to You by Zeph as I write this edition of The Writer Gal Letter. It is definitely, DEFINITELY on the YJNTM Playlist.
Also, how can it already be August 8!!! I had just finished writing the damn book a week ago and now we’re already a week away from release!!! WHY IS TIME SO CRUEL TO ME?
Anyway, because time is running out and I do not have enough days, I’ll be sharing the first two chapters of You’re Just Not My Type in this week, today and on Friday, leading up to release. And chapter three will be sent on Monday after the book comes out!
The ARCs for You’re Just Not My Type will go out on August 10, when the book gets uploaded to Amazon. I am also hoping to do a simultaneous release week paperback release for this book (that cover is so adorable I cannot stop grinning every time I look at it) but we both know me. Let’s take the week as it comes. I will say this - SO MANY of you signed up to read an ARC of this book, I am so hopeful my little sunshine book baby makes your day a little bit brighter when you read it.
It certainly did mine.
Okay, enough talkies. Let’s get to Chapter One shall we?
You’re Just Not My Type - Chapter One (Subject to further edits)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young man in possession of a fortune must be in want of …
Not a wife.
That’s the truth, mom. A filthy rich man who has it made is looking to dip his dick into as many vajayjays as he can before a paternity test catches up to him. And he is forced to go into rehab or clean up his act.
Welcome to dating in the twenty-first century.
“Niva!” Mom snapped her fingers at me. “Where are you? Are you even paying attention to me?”
I gave her the approximation of a smile. Flashing teeth, stretching lips. And kept the eye roll on the inside. She wasn’t above whooping my butt if she thought I was sassing her. Indian moms did not put up with shit, I tell you.
“Of course, I’m paying attention, Ma. I am just trying to understand why you…you…ambushed me today, when I am only here for the weekend.”
Mom was nonplussed. “Ambush?” She ventured finally.
I nodded rapidly. “Ambush. You didn’t tell me there was going to be a marriage set up scene happening when you begged me to fly home this weekend. Across the country, I might add.” I waved my ladle full of onion pakora batter – greasy besan (Bengal gram flour) and all the masala spices mixed to the right consistency of thick, syrupy pakora covering. Shook it at the window outside where the familiar New York City sounds blared in full Philharmonic symphony – cabs honking, sirens blasting (ambulance and police), people chattering to their phones.
“Marriage?” Mom squeaked. “Set up?” She took a deep breath. Vigorously added the petal cut onions into the batter, almost snatching the bowl from me. “You are paranoid, Niva. I am not setting you up for anything.”
“Oh, really?” I pointed at the kitchen island which was positively groaning under the weight of the seven delicacies Mom had made for dinner. A full four-course meal rivaling any restaurant in Little India. For taste and presentation. “Then what’s all this?”
“Max is your dad’s childhood friend’s son,” she insisted. “And he is in the city for just tonight. So, I thought to invite him over for dinner, Niva. Why would you think I had any ulterior motives?”
She sounded so aggrieved. As if she was the injured party.
But I knew my mom. She got wise to my tricks of bra-stuffing when I was twelve and wanted to have Margot Robbie tits. And she knew when I had smoked weed in college even if I was miles away. She always had an ulterior motive when it came to me – either to set me straight or, more recently, set me up (because all her friends’ daughters were doing the decent thing and getting married to their college boyfriends!)
“If you don’t have any ulterior motives then you don’t mind if I skip dinner, right? Go out for drinks with my friends?” I asked her sweetly.
I was lying, of course. My friends (the aforementioned ones with fiancés and high-paying jobs on Wall Street or Madison Avenue) did not even know I was in New York for the holiday weekend. Because I could not take one more well-meaning but pitying look from women my age who had it made while I was still, in my dad’s kind words, struggling.
It was the main reason I moved across the country, to San Francisco.
There, at least, the pity was over my inability to balance my finances at the end of the month. And it did not come with all this history!
Mom looked crestfallen; her eyes reddened with tears. “Well, if you have plans. I am not going to stop you from going out and having fun, Niva.” Her nose – in the traditional Nathni nose ring – twitched a little and she sniffled.
She continued stirring the batter slowly. The thick yellow goop swirling like the guilt she’d ignited in me with her soft-spoken words. The spices burned my eyes and my gut.
I groaned. “UGH! Mom. I hate it when you emotionally blackmail me, successfully.”
Mom’s smile was wobbly. “You know it’s been close to two years since you and Kev…”
“Do not say the name, Mom,” I said dangerously quietly. A cascade of images rushed through my head. Laughter. Champagne corking. Feet. Pictures of feet. Dollar signs. So many dollar signs!
Mom sighed, snapping me out of the moment. “Well, it’s been a long time. And you’re a bright, smart woman with her whole life ahead of her. If you’d just let life happen to you, baby.” She ran a maternal hand down my back, comforting and critical at the same time.
I sighed. “Fine. Whatever. It’s not like I have any other plan tonight.”
Mom beamed. “I knew you’d do the right thing.”
I filched a boiled potato piece (we were making onion and potato pakoras) and shoved it into my mouth. Talking while I chewed. “I’m only agreeing for dinner. Nothing more. So, perish any thoughts of holy matrimony from your head, Mother.”
Mom laughed and shook her head at my open mouth, chewing food. “Of course, Niva. Could I make you do anything you never wanted to do? I learned my lesson a long time ago. Remember the ghungroo incident from eighth grade?”
The ghungroo incident from eighth grade wasn’t as bad as she made it out to be. Okay? Mom’s a bit of a drama queen. I get that naturally from her.
I’d just started learning Bharat Natyam – the oldest classical Indian dance form, which made ballet look like child’s play with its myriad facial expressions and hand emotions (called mudras – don’t ask!). Mom wanted me to put on my ghungroos – anklets stitched in red velvet with three to four rows of heavy brass bells and perform for unsuspecting guests who politely asked about the pictures of me in full classical Indian dance outfits – complete with the footlong hair pieces that never failed to give me a headache.
I agreed to her demands. And, wearing a forced smile, did the steps.
Unfortunately, my ghungroos were tied loosely and when I kicked a leg out on one of the moves, the right one loosened and hit Hernandez Uncle square in his potbelly.
We played it off like it was nothing, but mom never let me live down the supreme embarrassment of ‘The Ghungroo Incident’. Bringing it up when she needed to guilt trip into something particularly awkward.
Like inviting my father’s childhood friend’s son, name withheld, for dinner on the one weekend I was also home.
We might have changed our middle-class Mumbai address for Brooklyn when Papa came here for his job back when Zuckerberg was still coding in his parents’ house. But, every single Indian child’s parent had only one mission once they grew up, graduated, settled, and got a well-paying job (which only made the children want to kill themselves, say, four times a day).
Get. Them. Married. Period.
My mom was no different.
“It’s not right for you to produce your version of The Bachelor in our living room, Mom.”
Mom shot me a frustrated look. “It’s just dinner, Niva. Not trashy reality TV.”
I gave her a disbelieving look. “We spent the whole day cleaning the house, top to bottom. Plus, it’s a three hour, four-course meal.” I held up two fingers ticking off the reasons why this ambush was just not going to work. “With small talk and fake smiles. And you’ll make me set the fucking table which you know I despise with all my feminist heart.” I finished triumphantly, holding up all five fingers.
Mom’s cute nose (not like mine, I got dad’s tiny capsicum-sized nose) wrinkled. “How many times have I told you? No swearing in this house.”
I resisted rolling my eyes, knowing she might well smack me if I crossed her too much. And I had some pride. “I’m only here for the weekend!”
Her glare held. “Still. Have some respect for your parents, will you? And why are you on your phone when we are talking, Niva?”
I sighed. Massively. And set down my phone. “I was just checking my email. Now what do you want?”
Her face brightened immediately. “Wear that nice cotton kurti top Nirmala aunty sent over from Kanjeevaram and come down in ten minutes. Please?”
I shook my head. “Fine. Whatever. I’ll come. But I am not wearing the kurti. I’m wearing this.” I gestured at my plush, rainbow-colored co-ord set. I checked out my cute fuzzy bunny slippers. “I’ll change into better footwear, though.”
Mom pursed her lips as if she was going to argue with me further. But discretion was the better part of Moms winning arguments, so she simply nodded. Kissed the side of my head and muttered, “Don’t be late. He texted your dad. He’s pulling around the kerb.”
Because she closed the door behind her, I was able to safely roll my eyes.
I immediately pounced on my phone and checked the screen. My face fell a bit.
We are sorry, Ms. Pandit, to inform you that, while your qualifications are what our organization is looking for, we are going in another direction for the position of Communications…
Oh well. I exited the app.
My heart sank with the rejection. But the world had become hyper competitive and hyper saturated, somehow at the same time, so jobs were few and far in between. Ones that paid enough to make rent and pay off my student loan and have money left over for grocery shopping. Especially jobs in communication and public relations, my specialty.
This was my sixth rejection in as many weeks, which did not boost my morale. But, my toxic trait was thinking like Edison and looking for my light bulb moment. So, I kept at it religiously.
My current job situation was…not ideal. To say the least. And I was basically counting down the days to when I could theatrically wave my resignation letter in the air and say, “I quit.”
“Niva!” My mom whispered-yelled from the parlor.
“Yes. Two minutes.”
I ran up the stairs to my room, where I’d done my homework, karaoke’d to Lady Gaga while practicing my Bharat Natyam dance routines and discovered what ‘self-completion’ meant.
I reflected on this frenzied change in my mother as I hunted for better footwear Regardless of this conversation with Ma, I actually had a functional, loving relationship with her. We loved gossiping about the Kardashians over a glass of San Pedro White and a bowl of hand-cranked mango ice cream. And, apart from this mission she’d embarked upon, she was actually lots of fun to be around.
And super supportive of my career choices – like the time I decided to join the Save The Trees protest at my local park and called it Pedhgrah – a riff on Gandhi’s ‘Satyagrah’ non-violent movement.
So, yeah. I owed it to her to be on my best behavior.
But a matchmaking ambush was an ambush and must be dealt with swiftly. Because, pretty soon, ambushes would become an outright declaration of war and I really did not want that. Not yet.
I looked around and found what I was looking for. I opened the bottle and did my thing. Exactly two minutes later, I walked out of my room, wearing respectable Nike sneakers that actually complemented my rainbow outfit.
Satisfied I’d done everything possible to counter my mom’s ambush.
MAX’S POV will come in the next chapter, this Friday.
You’re Just Not My Type Blurb
Here are four reasons I, Niva, know Max is not for me no matter what my sweet delusional family thinks!
1. He pairs brown sweater vests with glasses like a nerdy engineer.
2. He likes boring dal rice. I'm obsessed with spicy tandoori chicken.
3. He is now (kind of) my boss at the gaming company where I work. And his first order of business? Fire the staff.
4. I actually maybe like this other guy I'm chatting with on the game boards 'for research' even though we've not met yet IRL.
Then I'm forced to work with Max to launch our new game. I begin to see the hot, sweet introvert under the joyless, uptight clothes. In a moment of weakness, I ask him to be my fake date at my frenemy's wedding.
And he agrees!
Between the launch, fake dating, and the tension simmering between us, I uncover his heartbreaking secrets.
But, this doesn't mean I'm falling for my nemesis. Okay?
Because, sorry Max, you're just not my type.
You're Just Not My Type is a feel-good standalone romantic comedy with delicious desi food, gamertalk, a well-meaning interfering family, and angsty MCs who are total opposites with a guaranteed happy ever after.
Claim, Burn, Blaze, Tempt 99c Sale Expires in a few hours
It’s been a month since Claim became first person with Burn and Blaze soon following and Tempt showing up at the very end. I was also busy writing a whole ass book so July was EVENTFUL, to say the least.
August promises to be even more eventful! With You’re Just Not My Type releasing in Kindle Unlimited and, definitely more books becoming first person!
But all that being said, if you’d like to get the ebooks of the whole series at a steep discount - 99c each worldwide - now’s the time to do it. The books will be at full price starting tomorrow!
Writer Gal’s Writer Pals Present
Postmate, this is a personal request kind of present. Author/narrator Lili Valente lost her home in the Vermont floods. And it has been heartbreaking to read her posts and follow along as she tries to make the best of a frankly shitty situation. But, Lili’s a romance heroine so she is doing what we do best. Put on her big girl pants and GET IT DONE.
What you can do to help, which also helps you?!
Read one of her fun, STEAMY stories in Kindle Unlimited to help support her as she rebuilds! PS: Boss Without Benefits is very close to YJNTM tropes so you’ll definitely enjoy it :)
THE HUNTER BROTHERS Steamy Small Town set in wine country, Complete series in KU here: https://tinyurl.com/ms2ky7m5
RUGGED AND ROYAL What's better than a Royal Rom Com? Three of them. Complete series in KU here: https://tinyurl.com/57m55x3a
THE BANGOVER SERIES Rockstars. Drama. Laughs. All the Feels. Complete series in KU here: https://tinyurl.com/2jf5eyat
THE VIRGIN PLAY BOOK SERIES Hockey. V-Cards. Steam. Best friends & found family in NYC. Complete series in KU here: https://tinyurl.com/2y4am4d6
THE MCGUIRE BROTHERS HAWT, whacky, small-town novels that will tickle your funny bone. 3 Standalone Novels currently available here: https://tinyurl.com/2jbvmj95
That is all the news I have for this week’s edition, Postmate. I’ll be back on Friday with the second chapter - Max’s POV and hopefully, paperback news.
Read the Ruthless Billionaires, pretty please! :D