BLOG TOUR: The Sham by Ellen Allen

The Sham by Ellen Allen 
Release Date: 09/07/14
Blurb Description: When love leads to death, be careful who you trust…

Eighteen-year-old Emily Heath would love to leave her dead-end town, known locally as "The Sham", with her boyfriend, Jack, but he's very, very sick; his body is failing and his brain is shutting down. He's also in hiding, under suspicion of murder. Six months' ago, strange signs were painted across town in a dialect no one has spoken for decades and one of Emily's classmates washed up in the local floods.

Emily has never trusted her instincts and now they're pulling her towards Jack, who the police think is a sham himself, someone else entirely. As the town wakes to discover new signs plastered across its walls, Emily must decide who and what she trusts, and fast: local vigilantes are hunting Jack; the floods, the police, and her parents are blocking her path; and the town doesn’t need another dead body.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The idea for this book came to me in a nightmare... It was so vivid that I imagined I was 17 again, at school, in the same group of 4 friends that I used to hang around with. We were involved in a murder and cover-up. I started writing partly as a way to get it out of my head and then the characters turned into real people... and Emily and Jack were born.

As some of the early reviewers have stated, it is quite extreme in chapter one, and necessarily so. This is the incident that sets up the whole book; something awful happens that sets off a train of events for the characters. This book is a mystery in two ways in that we're: 1) trying to find out who killed Emily's classmate; and 2) trying to work out who Jack is. I hope you enjoy it!

Buy Links:

About the Author
I’ve just finished writing my first book, so I’ve been busy trying to work out how all the pieces fit together – the planning, the plot, the rules, the imagination, the characters, the grammar, the structure, the endgame… there’s too much stuff to remember and a lot of the information that I’ve discovered online about how to write isn’t that good or even well written (the irony in reading advice on writing that isn’t well written…)

So I decided I needed to find somewhere to store the good stuff. Then it occurred to me that other people might find it useful too. So here it is. My online reference tool of all the useful (i.e. good) advice for writers-to-be. I only post here when I have something really useful to say about the craft (Twitter is for daily musings, Goodreads to review and Amazon to buy my work); it’s all about the quality here, folks, not the quantity… Enjoy!


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Extract one: “We’d all smoked the same little something”
From chapter: Have you seen anything? Or How dead bodies ‘melt out’ in spring thaws

          We all knew something was off. We could feel it, in about a million mammoth ways. The classroom was buzzing, as if we hadn’t been able to cope with the endless weeks of gloom. Like everything had been packed inside, so tight, for so long, that something had to snap.
          I took my usual seat, lollygagging in the middle of the classroom, wondering if the bottom of my jeans would ever get dry. We were still inundated with water but now from below, rather than above. The mammoth influxes of snow had started to melt leaving us to navigate the puddles, pools and streams left on every manmade surface. Becky and Rebecca were making a triumphant return to school, sitting on desks at the back but I kept my distance, wanting to keep well away. I smiled at a joke one of the boys made but I didn’t make eye contact. I remembered something Jack had said. Seem engaged in what’s going on, but don’t get involved or singled out. It seemed like good advice; an invisible boy knows how to stay hidden.
          I found a soggy breakfast muffin full of cold egg and tinned tomatoes seeping into my textbooks that Mum must have sneaked into my bag before I left the house. She can never remember I hate tomatoes, how many sugars I have in my tea or that I haven’t eaten a Jaffa Cake since I was six. Her memory is perpetually locked into my childhood patterns, pre-pills, before pre-breakfast cocktails were the norm. I took a bite because I was too hungry to mind or to worry about smelling out the classroom but I had a sense of unease. The days Mum acts like a Mum, they’re never the best.
          Like the day Grace finally died. My mother was sane, motherly. Offering advice. Telling me I might want to think about not going to see Grace in the funeral home. It’s better to remember them living, she had said. Breathing, laughing. But I had to see for myself, say goodbye. And now every hello I make to Grace, every memory I bring back to life begins with the last one I have. Cold. Stony. Her hair in a style she would have hated. A dress cherry-picked by her mother that made her look about ten. Like something out of Anne of bloody Green Gables. Like I said. The days when Mum makes sense, when I’m grateful for her efforts. Those never turn out well.
          Everyone was making so much noise. It was like we had all smoked the same little something before breakfast, inhaling the crazy. Kitty was quite literally, begging,

  “have you seen Me?”

She’d suddenly appeared everywhere, plastered all over school on posters the size of entire walls, her head eight times its usual size. I couldn’t help thinking they were looking for the wrong girl; she was barely recognisable from the picture they’d used; pre-make up, pre-highlights, pre-pubescent. Maybe – if she’d been discarded outside, left to rot like Cath – the hail and snow and wind and rain might have eroded all adolescent traces, like a two-month outdoor facial for her face? Would they draw the teenage mask back on like they did with Grace? A little mascara here, a little hairspray there? As if it makes a difference.

          I shimmied down inside my coat, snuggling under my hood. I wasn’t sure if anyone there knew that Jack even existed, never mind if they’d got wind of the police’s suspicions but I felt tainted by association. It was as if Kitty was speaking directly to me, pleading, Come and find me. I’m still okay. Nothing bad has happened. Yet. But we all knew different. Not the details. We had 20 minutes to wait for the hows, the where fors. 20 minutes for the puss to ooze through our streets, beneath our school gates and classroom doors. Before the hysterics really began.

BLOG TOUR: Life In The No Dating Zone by Patricia B. Tighe- Review & Giveaway

Life In The No Dating Zone by Patricia B. Tighe
Release Date: 12/02/14
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Blurb Description: After surviving her parents' relationship drama when her older sister elopes, Claire Gardner vows not to date during high school. Now, three years later, Claire is thrust into new relationship drama--her two best friends have boyfriends. Which means Claire is spending more and more time alone. And she's more than a little peeved.

Enter Gray Langley. His year-long crush on Claire's friend Lindsey has made him desperate enough to ask Claire for help. Hesitant at first, Claire agrees--anything to get rid of Lindsey's current evil boyfriend. But as Claire and Gray plot together, an attraction develops, and now she must decide if being with Gray is worth the pain that will come from confronting her parents with the reasons for her vow.

Add to Goodreads Buy Links: Amazon

About the Author
Patricia B. TigheI'm not the writer who's been writing for as long as she can remember. In fact, I didn't start writing fiction until I was almost thirty. But, I've always been a reader. Which, of course, is one of the basic requirements for being a writer. I've read everything from horse novels and spy thrillers to historical romance and fantasy sagas—and lots in between. There's something wondrous about picking up a book and entering a new world with new adventures. And I don't plan on stopping any time soon.

When I'm not reading, I hang out with my husband and two old dogs, plus my grown sons whenever I get the chance. In the fall I spend way too much time yelling at my TV while watching football. I'm also addicted to British TV shows. Top Gear, anyone?

Oh, yeah. And I write. Kissing books. Or at least books that include kissing. Hope you enjoy them!

Author Links:


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So, No dating in high school? Different, yes! Do you think she'll break her 'vow'? Well (...) Is the boy next to perfect? UH, YES!

Is the story worth a read? DEFINITELY!

Life in the No Dating Zone is your typically cute contemporary romance- with a boy, a best friend, a problem sister, a plan and LEGOs! Claire is your bossy, down to earth, smart, girl next door pretty teenager. With the super popular best friend, who just happens to be nice and another, more know- it- all best friend, she starts to feel left out when both of them get boyfriends!

Enter Grayson, who likes the nice popular best friend with the sleaze boyfriend, and turns towards Claire for advice!

And the rest is history!

All I can say is- this super sweet is the perfect book to light your day up!

BLOG TOUR: Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich- Review, Interview & Giveaway Sarah Negovetich
Blurb Description: Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can’t wait for her Acceptance.
A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she’s shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.
A life behind barbed wire fences with the world’s most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancé she’s almost certain she can learn to
But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.
Available now at Amazon, B&N, Kobo & iTunes

Sarah Negovetich knows you don't know how to pronounce her name and she's okay with that.
Her first love is Young Adult novels, because at seventeen the world is your oyster. Only oysters are slimy and more than a little salty; it's accurate if not exactly motivational. We should come up with a better cliché.

Sarah divides her time between writing YA books that her husband won’t read and working with amazing authors as an agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Her life’s goal is to be only a mildly embarrassing mom when her kids hit their teens.

You can learn more about Sarah and her books at
or follow her antics on Twitter @SarahNego.

#RiteOfRejection Reader Survival Pack

Prize pack includes:

Chapter 17 tissues (because that's when you'll need them), a jumbo sized chocolate bar (a hot commodity inside the PIT), an orange scented candle (courtesy of Rebecca's fondest memory from home, a dandelion pen (as featured on the cover), hand-crafted Molly bag (these are used extensively by the main characters), and a $10 Amazon gift card.
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1.   What does it feel like to have your book out there, for the world to read?
Surreal! I’m not sure it’s really sunk in yet. Maybe it will hit me on release date. In my head, this is still a project I’m helping one of my clients with. I’d describe it as equal parts excited and nervous, with a dash of ‘are we there yet’ thrown in for good measure.
2.      Tell us a little about the storyline for Rite of Rejection: 
The story follows Rebecca who is on the verge of becoming a full member of her society, but instead she’s identified as a future criminal and sent to prison for life. Except this prison functions as its own little community where the only thing you can’t do is escape. Having lived her entire life sheltered by her mother, Rebecca has no idea how to survive on her own. She needs the help of other teens, wrongly accused just like her. Together they make plans to create a new life and Rebecca learns how to start living, but when you’re surrounded by criminals it’s hard to know who to trust.

3. What inspired you to write Rite of Rejection?
I remember reading a news story about a senseless crime and wishing there was a way we could know ahead of time who would do this kind of thing. From there I brainstormed what that would look like if we could (think Minority Report) and it all snowballed from there.

4. Do an Acronym for Rite of Rejection (one word for each letter of the title)
Whoops! I should have picked a shorter title. This was crazy hard and probably doesn’t make any sense unless you’ve read the book. Spoilers! J

5. What is your opinion on negative reviews?

I have a love/hate relationship with them. So far most of my reviews have been favorable, but I’ve had a few readers that really didn’t like the book. I’m not going to lie, those reviews sting, but not as much as I would have thought. While I adore getting those 5* reviews, I also appreciate the readers who didn’t like it. Negative reviews remind me that I still have room to grow and learn so I can be a better writer. They motivate me to work toward putting out an even better book next time. 


Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars!

A Good, but not great new book in the Dystopian World!

I swear I've gone on a Dystopian String this week, starting off with watching (and just sitting in the theatre long after it was over going NO in my head) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 3, then I read  Amanda Thorne's Ruination and almost immediately started this!

While I really LOVED the idea of an Acceptance Ball in the modern world, and to a girl that dreamed and thought about it, to get Rejected for no reason, and pretty much everything else unfair about a system that claims to be flawless- I found that the execution could have been a lot better.

It was nice, don't get me wrong, but I felt like there could have been more anger, more emotion early on from Rebecca, her parents, everyone. I feel like The Acceptance should have been given more importance so that the reader understood what it was to live the 'proper' life, not leave it to his/ her imagination.

Still, the story picked up later on, and I found myself enjoying the book:) I would recommend the book

BLOG TOUR: Kissing Frogs by Alisha Sevigny

Author: Alisha Sevigny
Publication Date: 11/18/14
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Blurb Description:  Popular party girl and high school senior Jessica Scott has a secret: she used to be a nerd — a big one; a goody two-shoes, grade-skipping, all-state spelling bee champ. But she lost the braces, put on some contacts, and applied all her academic genius to studying and imitating the social elite.

 Now she rules the school from the upper echelon of the high school realm. With her cool new friends and hottest-guy-in-school boyfriend, life’s a beach — and that’s where she’s headed for Spring Break. That is, until her teacher breaks the bad news that she’s failing Biology — and her only chance to make up the grade is to throw away the culminating trip of her hard-earned popularity and join the Conservation Club in Panama to save the Golden Frog.

Unable to let go of her faded college dreams, Jess finds herself in a foreign country with a new social crew, and one handsome face that stands out as a blast from the past, threatening to ruin her queen bee reputation. Travis Henley may have grown up, but he still likes to play childish games and as payment for retrieving Jess’ lost ring from the bottom of a jungle pool, he wants three dates. While Jess does battle with spiders, snakes, wildfires and smart mean girls, she desperately tries to hang on to the last vestiges of her popular existence like the Golden Frog from its webbed toe. But as she starts to care about something more than tanning and texting – a species on the verge of disappearing forever – she may realize the worth of her inner nerd, and the one frog in particular that could be her prince in disguise.

Set in the lush and tropical El Valle de Anton, this modern fairytale re-imagining of “The Frog Prince” is toe-curling contemporary romance with an environmentalist heartbeat, in the tradition of Stephanie Perkins.

Add to Goodreads Buy Links: Amazon

About the Author
Alisha Sevigny holds a degree in Sociology and Professional Writing from the University of Victoria, is a film school graduate, former literary agent and current Social Media and Communications Director for an award-winning English school. A shameless romantic, Alisha and her husband have travelled the world together. On a recent trip to Panama with their new daughter, Alisha fell in love with the country, culture, and their national emblem, the Golden Frog. She was inspired to write her first Young Adult novel, Kissing Frogs. Born and raised in Kitimat, British Columbia, Alisha has always had a strong connection to the environment and conservationist spirit. She now lives in Toronto with her family.


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I would consider The Princess and The Frog to be my third favorite childhood tale. The first being The Lion King, and the second being Snow White and the Seven Dwarves!

So, when I was a YA book based on this, I got SUPER excited!

Kissing Frogs was exactly what I expected it to be- a SUPER cute contemporary romance about finding yourself, with a twist! Just, you know, the usual YA book;)

I LOVED Travis- he is the CUTEST boy ever! I've always loved Meg Cabot's How To Be Popular storyline and this fit the bill!

For all the fans of the genre, this is a must read:)

BLOG TOUR: The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel

Author: Amy Engel 
Publication Date: 11/04/14
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Blurb Description: After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him

About the Author
 Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas; California; Missouri; Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two kids.  Before devoting herself full-time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV.  When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping. The Book of Ivy is her debut YA novel. Find her online at or @aengelwrites.

Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitter

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The Book of Ivy is, simply put, a BRILLIANT book! There is something so amazing in its simplicity of characters, that it shows you amazing depth, something so different about the whole situation, yet so familiar, and something so out of this world that you will NOT believe that cliff hanger ending when you reach it!

Ivy Westfall has a mission. To kill her husband, so that she can avenge her mother's death and so that her family can finally some into power. It's all she's taught- that her husband's family are the evil ones- taking away all freedom from the people to create a monarchy so strong, that people will be too scared to rise up against them.

And yet, even thought Ivy knows what she has to do, Bishop is not the boy she expected him to be. Not an abusive prick, but someone who wants to get to know her, without pressurizing her, and in Ivy's world, that's about all anyone dreams of.

I really can't say more, except- READ IT!

Blog Tour: The Next Breath by Laurel Osterkamp- Review & Giveaway

Welcome to my tour stop for The Next Breath by Laurel Osterkamp. This is an adult contemporary and the tour runs November 17-28th with reviews, interviews & guest posts. Check out the tour schedule for all the posts.

About the Book:

nextbreath-osterkamp-ebookThe Next Breath
Author: Laurel Osterkamp

Blurb Description: I kiss him, choosing love over honesty, which is a choice nobody should ever have to make…"

Robin loves sweet, responsible Nick, with his penchant for Beethoven and Ben Folds Five. But she also still loves her college boyfriend Jed, an irreverent playwright plagued with cystic fibrosis. Now Robin is struggling to reveal her secrets and confront her past, as she finally performs in the play that Jed wrote for her, eleven years ago. Will Robin have the strength to keep her promise and stay true to her heart?

Alternating between present-day scenes, college flashbacks, and segments from Jed’s play, this tear-jerking yet uplifting tale illustrates how life is finite but love is infinite, and the road to recovery begins with the next breath.

 Goodreads | Amazon

About the Author:
LAO_2Laurel Osterkamp becomes very attached to her characters, and it’s hard for her to stop writing about them.  The Holdout, November Surprise, Blue State, Campaign Promises, American Angst and The Next Breath all feature the Bricker family, as their stories continue. (But you can read any of these books in any order.)

You can find Laurel on Twitter but she needs to work on sending clever Tweets. A better idea is to follow her blog at

Laurel teaches in Minneapolis, MN, where she tries to stay warm, spend time with her two nearly perfect children and husband, and find the time to write.  Her other novels are Following My Toes and Starring in the Movie of My Life. Visit her at


$25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Ends December 3rd, 2014

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"We're sharing this blandly remarkable moment, and I'm already feeling nostalgic, because life, unlike love, is finite."

There are some books, that you just don't think you will fall in love with, but sometimes you do. There are others that you blatantly dislike, but the Next Breath was neither. From the very first words on, I knew (and I was right) that this would be a book that would haunt me for some time to come.

There was SO much about it- the honesty and simplicity that each character had- How Robin was so confused about Jed and Nick, in her dreams, and both of the boys themselves!

For the life of me, I can't explain what this book means to me. I've had friends deal with life threatening diseases, and I would go all emo on you. But here is what I can do!

"I want you to have a lifetime full of 'best things' that have ever happened. Promise me, and that will be the last thing I ask for."

"I love you." My words were a Band-Aid when I wanted them to be a cure.

No explanations, no qualifications. He just wanted me there. And somehow I knew: it was the beginning of the end.

We stumbled towards the cafeteria, tripping over each other because we refused to let go.

But soul mates don't come easy, especially not for good girls.

"What exists in fiction exists in reality, even if the concepts were born from some author's head."

BLOG TOUR: A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

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Print Copy of A BOLLYWOOD AFFAIR (Three Chances to Win)
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Mili Rathod hasn’t seen her husband in twenty years—not since she was promised to him at the age of four. Yet marriage has allowed Mili a freedom rarely given to girls in her village. Her grandmother has even allowed her to leave India and study in America for eight months, all to make her the perfect modern wife. Which is exactly what Mili longs to be—if her husband would just come and claim her.

Bollywood’s favorite director, Samir Rathod, has come to Michigan to secure a divorce for his older brother. Persuading a naïve village girl to sign the papers should be easy for someone with Samir’s tabloid-famous charm. But Mili is neither a fool nor a gold-digger. Open-hearted yet complex, she’s trying to reconcile her independence with cherished traditions. And before he can stop himself, Samir is immersed in Mili’s life—cooking her dal and rotis, escorting her to her roommate’s elaborate Indian wedding, and wondering where his loyalties and happiness lie.

Heartfelt, witty, and thoroughly engaging, Sonali Dev’s debut is both a vivid exploration of modern India and a deeply honest story of love, in all its diversity.

Advance Praise for A Bollywood Affair:

“Sonali Dev is a fresh new voice in romance. A child bride who’s all grown up, a sexy Bollywood director, and deeply-felt emotions that will keep readers turning the pages. A Bollywood Affair has it all.” –Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times Bestseller

“Deeply romantic and emotional, with characters I fell in love with, A Bollywood Affair is simply unputdownable. It’s sexy, it’s dramatic, but most of all, it’s a sweet, hot love story that made me sigh and smile and want to read it all over again as soon as I turned the last page.” -Nalini Singh, New York Times Bestseller

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Sonali Dev’s first literary work was a play about mistaken identities performed at her neighborhood Diwali extravaganza in Mumbai. She was eight years old. Despite this early success, Sonali spent the next few decades getting degrees in architecture and writing, migrating across the globe, and starting a family while writing for magazines and websites.

With the advent of her first gray hair her mad love for telling stories returned full force, and she now combines it with her insights into Indian culture to conjure up stories that make a mad tangle with her life as supermom, domestic goddess, and world traveler.

Sonali lives in the Chicago suburbs with her very patient and often amused husband and two teens who demand both patience and humor, and the world’s most perfect dog.

Find Sonali Here: Website | Facebook Twitter | Goodreads

Character Interview:

Set the Scene for where Mili and Samir are being interviewed)
Samir and Mili welcome you into their Mumbai penthouse home. They are sitting on a plush leather loveseat under a huge, very modern painting and there’s enough food laid out for twenty people on the coffee table. The floor to ceiling windows present a view of the Mumbai skyline all around you. 

~First thoughts about the other when you first met?
Mili: Look at him. What would you think?
Samir (to Mili): What’s wrong with the way I look?
Mili: Don’t encourage him. That’s his line to get you to tell him how pretty he is.
Samir (rolls his eyes): What do you think I thought when I first met her? I thought she was crazy. Because she is.
~Mili, how does being married to Samir compare to being married to your arranged husband?

Mili: (Slides a quick glance at Samir and they share a secret smile) That wasn’t a marriage! (Mili and Samir say together).
Samir: Although, it took her long enough to admit it.
Mili: Well, it was a marriage not a TV show that you just stop watching because you don’t like it.
Samir: Why don’t you just answer the question, Mili?
Mili: See how much he enjoys being praised.
Samir: That’s her way of saying that I’m a great husband and that she couldn’t be happier and that she thinks she’s the luckiest girl in the world.
Mili: Maybe. 
~Samir, how has Mili taken to life with a Famous Director?

Samir: Haven’t you noticed how intimidated by my fame she is? Seriously, though, I think the better question is, how has my work taken to Mili? Last month she got all the stars in my film to do a fundraiser for her Women’s Safe House. And she’s got the hero of my film doing a public service announcement on TV about how real men treat women. Right now she’s working to organize a panel with all these star actresses talking to young mothers in rural areas around Mumbai about educating their daughters.   

~Are your families very accepting of this "New" Relationship?

Samir: Accepting isn’t the right word. It’s more like fervently supportive. Essentially, they would kill me if I hurt her in any way.

Mili: Except that if they tried to hurt you, my grandmother would kill them. My grandmother even let him buy her a cell phone. And she actually talks to him every day. I have no idea what they talk about. What do you two talk about, Samir?

Samir: She gives me tips on how to handle you.

~Three Qualities you Love about another?  Three you could do without?

Samir: She’s generous to a fault, works far too hard, and wants to change everything that’s wrong with the world. Oh, and she’s beautiful.

Mili: (wipes her eyes) He makes me cry all the time. And he cooks the best dal in the world. Oh, and he can spend hours staring at his paintings, and he refuses to let anyone else clean his car. He spends hours polishing it and buffing it and I think I caught him singing to it the other day.

~Mili, What are your plans for the Future career-wise, family-wise, etc?
Mili: Samir and I are working on setting up a safe house for battered women where they can get legal help and vocational training. Thanks to Samir we’ve been able to raise funds really fast. And we’re working turning Samir’s ancestral home in our village into a school for girls. 

~Samir, what about you, now that you have found Mili, where is your life, career, etc headed?
Samir: You mean what are my plans other than trying to keep up with my wife? Well, she thinks my films are too dark, so I’m working on one of those happy films.