Colleen’s Coffee Klatch: Ritu Bhathal

Hello everyone! Welcome to Colleen’s Coffee Klatch. Where I grew up, the Kaffee klatsch was all the rage. Folks (mostly women) would get together, share a cup of coffee, and catch up on their lives. Thanks so much for stopping by to share a cup of coffee and a chat. Every month, I like to reconnect with my favorite authors to catch up and see what’s new in their writing world.

This week I’m thrilled to introduce my friend & author, Ritu Bhathal.

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, http://www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards, and Best Book Blog in 2019.

Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.

Amazon.com

Hi, Colleen. It’s great to share a cup of coffee with you!

Hi Ritu. I can’t wait to hear your exciting news!

The big news is that Marriage Unarranged is officially re-released on Monday, June 6th from Spellbound Books. It has been very different this time around, as I now have a publisher who is doing all sorts of wonderful stuff, such as tweaking the cover for the paperback, which will be out a week after the ebook release.

It will now officially be part of a series, The Rishtay Series, with book two coming out in June 2023! Rishtay means relationships, which covers both romantic and familial relationships that are at the heart of this whole series.

I can’t believe it is happening on Monday! Eeek!

Ritu, I loved Marriage Unarranged. Here’s my review:

My review from GoodReads:

Aashi is getting married! She envisions herself dressed in different bridal outfits, and she feels like a princess… until she turns up at Ravi’s house. The door is answered by Nishi, a drop-dead gorgeous co-worker of Ravi who leaves abruptly after Aashi’s arrival.

Aashi is a lovely young woman, the kind any man would be thrilled to marry. She’s a bit naïve, but still gives Ravi, the man of her dreams, the benefit of the doubt… until she discovers the empty condom box. His betrayal is a stab to her heart. She’s got nothing left except to explain to her parents and family the depth of Ravi’s betrayal.

Aashi battles the humiliation of a broken engagement by embarking on a new adventure in India accompanied by her brothers and best friend, Kiran. When the mysterious Arjun shows up, Aashi discovers a certain attraction that just won’t go away. Where will their relationship lead?

“Marriage Unarranged,” is a Hindi love story like no other. I found myself emersed in the culture of India, learning new Punjabi names for friends and family, including religious and cultural traditions. Did I forget to mention the food? How about the clothes? It all swept me away!

However, this book isn’t only about a young woman’s passage into adulthood. The author broaches many cultural taboos: broken engagements, children born out of wedlock, and homosexuality, all explored with kindness and acceptance.

Aashi’s parents (Harjit, her mother and Mohinder-ji, her father) only want what is best for their children. Are they equipped to go against cultural norms, all for the love of their family?

“Marriage Unarranged,” played out in my mind like a movie on the big screen. I smelled the incense, prayed at the Gurdwara with Aashi, caught the sparkle from the bangle bracelets for sale in the market; and I fell in love with the characters. I can’t wait to find out where the author takes us next!

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the author. It was such a good read; I had to share my thoughts.


How exciting this must all be for you! You’re positively glowing!

I’ve even been interviewed by none other than my favourite author, Amanda Prowse, on her Facebook, My Book Friends group! (And there is a ‘call to buy’ quote on the new cover from her, too! (#Blessed!)

And just yesterday I attended my first ever author gathering, meeting my local chapter of Society of Authors members in Tunbridge Wells. It was so lovely to chat about all things words and publishing with them. They were extremely encouraging about the release, and I hope to see them again in September with news of how the release and reception has been!

Just hanging out with the writers…!

We tweaked the blurb just slightly, from before to ensure all readers are aware that this book is not set now, but in 2000, when many things were different. It is almost a historical novel now!

There you have it! This book is available to PREORDER now!

Media Connections

Twitter: @RituBhathal

Facebook

Author Blog

Blog: But I Smile Anyway

Would you like to stop by for coffee and a chat? Email me at Colleen@wordcraftpoetry.com and pitch me your news. I can’t wait to hear what’s new for you! 💜 🦄 🧹

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78 thoughts on “Colleen’s Coffee Klatch: Ritu Bhathal”

  1. Thank yoo so much for having me over for a cuppa and a chat, Sis! I love your review and appreciate your support!💛🙏🏽💛

  2. How lovely to learn more about Ritu. Her book is definitely on my TBR – it sounds like a fabulous and entertaining story. I love how you met up with fellow authors, how fantastic that would be. Toni x

    1. Thank you, Toni! I hope, when you read it, you enjoy it!
      Meeting other like minded individuals was wonderful.
      It was the same when I met lots of my favourite bloggers at the Annual Bloggers Bash!

  3. I thought Marriage Unarranged was a great story, Colleen and Ritu, and agree that it gave a wonderful glimpse into India. I felt like I was there! Congrats on the re-release, Ritu, and on contracting with a publisher who’s doing all sorts of wonderful things to spruce up the book. It’s such a pleasure to work with an enthusiastic publisher. Best of luck!

    1. Thank you so much Diana! I was so overwhelmed to be approached, and for them to want to rerelease it, along with two more books… well, that was just a dream for me!

    1. Thank you, so much, Eugenia, for your kind words! As Colleen said below, I was more of an active participant in many weekly poetry challenges, but life got in the way, and now, with a full on full time job, as well as fiction writing deadlines, I try and join in when I can! <3

  4. petespringerauthor

    Congratulations to Ritu on her rerelease of Marriage Unarranged. I enjoyed her book and felt like I had a much better understanding of the pressures young people in India face when the modern world collides with the more traditional beliefs.

  5. D.L. Finn, Author

    Great review and congrats on the new release. I hurried out to get my copy.

  6. Thanks for having Ritu for coffee, äh tea. Lol Isn’t it great to get Marriage Unarranged a second time. Now i will also have time for a review. Thanks for your’s Colleen, and best wishes! xx Michael

  7. Thank you Colleen for this lovely interview with Ritu. It’s a wonderful book and I have read it twice and loved it!! Every success to you Ritu with Spellbound Books. I am looking forward to the next books in the series.💜💜💜

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