Colorful and sparkling clay diya lamps lit for the Hindu Diwali festival.

What Is Diwali? The History Behind the Important Holiday

News

My next book, A Holly Jolly Diwali, focuses on the widely celebrate festival of Diwali. I recently spoke with Good Housekeeping on what this holiday means to me.

“Diwali can mean so many things to so many people, but at its core, for me it’s about celebrating the light in this world over the darkness, being with the people I love.”

To read the full article, which includes a great summary on the traditions, celebrations and customs of the Festival of Lights for those who aren’t that familiar with it, click here.

Sonya Lalli with her books

Women in minority backgrounds in romance novels

News

I recently spoke with the Richmond News about the universal themes in my novels, the expectations that South Asian women, and women of minority backgrounds, face growing up and my new role as Richmond’s newest Writer-in-Residence.

“Often women from minority backgrounds have to make hard choices.”

“(Women) are often burdened by these expectations, cultural baggage, sexism and many obstacles that hinder us from becoming our best selves or true selves, and going after what we really want, loving who we really want and that kind of thing.”

You can read the full article on The Richmond News website here.

A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli

A Holly Jolly Diwali gets a starred review from Booklist!

News

I’m so thrilled to share the news that A Holly Jolly Diwali has received a starred review from Booklist. The review will be in the Booklist September 15 issue.

The reviewer writes, “Funny and heartwarming, with lush descriptions of Indian beach resorts and chaotic city streets, Lalli’s latest multicultural romance is extremely satisfying; her characters are refreshingly relatable. Highly recommended for fans of Sonali Dev and Sophie Kinsella.”

A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli

A Holly Jolly Diwali – Library Journal review

News

This excerpt is from a review of my upcoming book, A Holly Jolly Diwali, from Library Journal which will be featured in their September 2021 issue!

“In the latest from Lalli, Niki Randhawa decides to attend a friend’s wedding in India after she is laid off from her job unexpectedly. While there she meets Sam Mukherji, whose life isn’t going according to plan either, and they form a connection. However, her life is back in Seattle, and his is in London, so they must decide what matters to them most. A major part of the story is Niki’s relationship with her family and her sibling rivalry with older sister Jasmine; she questions whether she wants to always be the practical and dutiful one. There’s some discussion of colonialism and colorism and one scene of street harassment, but it’s a light read overall. VERDICT Suggest to readers looking for holiday fun along with their romance.” ~Sydney Ashby, Metropolitan Lib. Sys., Oklahoma City

A Holly Jolly Diwali audiobook

A Holly Jolly Diwali audiobook is now available for pre-order!

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A Holly Jolly Diwali audiobook

A Holly Jolly Diwali is now available in audiobook!

I’m very excited to share the news that the audiobook for my next book, A Holly Jolly Diwali, is now available for pre-order and will be narrated by the very talented Richa Moorjani!

Richa Moorjani is an Indian-American actress who has appeared on TV shows like The Mindy Project, NCIS: Los Angeles and 9-1-1. She is currently starring in the Netflix series, Never Have I Ever.

For more information on the audiobook of A Holly Jolly Diwali, including where you can order, please click here.

Richa Moorjani photo courtesy of: Sweet Caribbean Photo and Video

Join me for the virtual launch of my new book, A Holly Jolly Diwali!

News

Consider this your official invitation to join me (virtually) at the launch event for my next book, A Holly Jolly Diwali!

I’ll be at East City Bookshop, chatting about my new book with USA Today bestselling author Sonali Dev.

DATE: Tuesday, October 5, 2021
TIME: 7:00 PM EDT

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR TICKETS FOR THE EVENT!

About A Holly Jolly Diwali

Twenty-nine-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She’s always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she’s always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she’s laid off, Niki realizes that practical hasn’t exactly paid off for her. So for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last-minute flight for her friend Diya’s wedding.

Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it’s the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual.

When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indian roots. When she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life—to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life the old Niki never would have dreamed of.

Serena Singh Flips the Script by Sonya Lalli

18 Romance Books By Asian Authors That You Should Pick Up This Month (Buzzfeed)

News

I loved seeing Serena Singh Flips the Script included in this amazing list filled with a variety of books by Asian Authors. These are all definitely worth checking out and aren’t just for romance readers!

What they said about Serena Singh Flips the Script: “This story explores many aspects of love — romantic love, love between friends, familial love, love for a career. Unusual for a romance novel, it brings up the unfortunately sometimes still taboo decision for a woman to choose her career over other parts of her life, and I enjoyed seeing that treated with care. I also adored seeing scenes from Serena’s mom’s perspective, which is rare in books where there is a cultural gap between the main characters and their families.”

To see the full list, please visit the Buzzfeed article here.

9 of the best books for adults about friendship (Book Riot)

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Who doesn’t want to read about solid adult friendships? In this great list from Book Riot, they look at books that involve all kids of friendships, including Serena Singh Flips the Script.

“I’ve long said I was interested in books about friendship that use the storytelling beats typically seen in romance novels. Well, here’s such a book! Serena Singh is trying to prove to her family that her version of happiness does not match theirs, and that that’s okay. A new friendship with a co-worker is one of the relationships that helps her achieve her desired state of self-reliance, a state that paradoxically includes letting people in.” ~ Book Riot

To check out the rest of the list on Book Riot, click here.

Serena Singh Flips the Script by Sonya Lalli

Top 10 Women’s Fiction (Booklist)

News

It was so great to see Serena Singh Flips the Script included in this list on the Booklist site of the Top 10 Women’s Fiction they reviewed in April. The list includes books that “cover hot-button issues, generational stories, suspense and comedy, and grown-up women of all ages, each reflecting the depths to be mined by chroniclers of women’s lives and relationships.”

“Hip, single Serena’s sister and friends are getting married and have babies, so she takes a disastrously hilarious plunge into social media while managing the expectations of her traditional Sikh community.” ~ Booklist

To see the rest of the books that made the list, check out the full Booklist article here.