Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where, every Wednesday, readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
Thanks Karen for having me over! I’m thrilled to share my stories with you and your readers!
To me a really good story is like a gift. Opening the book is like pulling one end of the ribbon so the bow collapses and the more I read, the more layers are unwrapped, the more surprises revealed.
My favorite authors include Isabelle Allende and her complex stories like The House of the Spirits and Lois McMaster Bujold and her wonderful Vorkosigan saga. When I write, my goal is to write the best, many-layered story that I can. Easier said than done, but that’s what I strive for.
So my debut novella, The Djinn’s Dilemma, is about a genie assassin falling for his human target, but it’s also about acceptance. Accepting others for who they are and accepting yourself for who you are.
A Tale of Two Djinns, which celebrated its book birthday in March, is a sexy paranormal Romeo & Juliet story with genies, feminists, kickass action & adult fun. It started out as a novella with a simple premise – a one-night stand with complications and a HEA ending. Then things got complicated.
The hero (Akshay) and the heroine (Maya) are from feuding djinn kingdoms. They happen to be fighting over water, which is a precious resource in West Texas where I live. Married to a cotton farmer, I’m always aware of all the worries about water and these poured out into my story.
Growing up in Bangladesh, a Third World country, marginalization of women was a fact I encountered daily. Not just the overt in-your-face marginalization, but also the more dangerous insidious marginalization that comes cloaked in “for her own good.” Women’s issues have always been important to me and they spilled into A Tale of Two Djinns. As I built the two different djinn societies, I explored the role of women in both.
These layers built on each other, and the heart of the story spread like roots through them, binding it all together. In the end, A Tale of Two Djinns is a story that was exhausting to write, but one I’m so very proud to have written.
What’s your favorite story and why? I’m giving away two digital copies of my first novella, THE DJINN’S DILEMMA! Leave a comment with your email!
Fifty percent of the proceeds from the sales of A Tale of Two Djinns are being donated to UNICEF.
A TALE OF TWO DJINNS by MINA KHAN
Nothing gets the biological clock ticking (and elders lecturing) like almost dying in battle, so Maya, princess of the water djinns, travels to Earth for some no-strings-attached sex to fulfill her duty and produce an heir. But the beautiful and tough warrior gets more than she bargained for when she meets Shay.
Their not-so-simple one-night stand is interrupted by assassins and the world, as they know it, is changed forever. As Maya and Shay pull together to survive, both are determined to have their happily-ever-after and bring peace to their worlds — warring families, shadow assassins, and nosy busybodies be damned.
A TALE OF TWO DJINNS by MINA KHAN
Shay stopped and stared at the closed door of his room. She was on the other side of it. His heartmate. The one perfect soul that paired with his.
He’d suspected it the night before as he’d watched her sleep, but the encounter with Jazz had cemented it. Akshay wanted to charge in and claim her, but he hesitated as he remembered the look of horror plastered on Maya’s face just before she’d fled. He didn’t want to frighten her away. So he pulled in calming breaths and tried to tamp down the rage still swirling inside him like a hot desert wind. He needed to be calm, reasonable and persuasive. He needed her to stay.
She lay on her stomach, clutching his pillow in her arms. Wary golden eyes watched him approach the bed. “You look like shit.”
Pulling on all his reserve, Akshay managed to stop a few feet from her. He touched the tenderness around his left eye and winced. Yeah, Jazz had landed a few good licks as well. Quick as a serpent, that one. “It was a fair fight.”
“One you needn’t have had.”
“I guess I’m not as forgiving as you are.” No one, no one insulted his woman. He wasn’t an idiot. He knew she was hiding something and wished she’d trust him enough to share her secrets. But he loved her, and that meant accepting what she was ready to give.
They stared at each other in silence as he tried to find the words to propose to her, ask her to share his life. Damn, he’d always known he’d marry someday…yet, he never expected to be this nervous. Truth be told, he’d never expected to feel anything other than resigned acceptance.
She sat up in bed and tugged her dress into place. “I’m well enough to travel now,” she said. “I’d appreciate it if you could have someone drop me off at a crossroad.”
Temper and misery flared at her words, ate at him in ravenous bites. He firmed his stance and folded his arms across his chest to keep from grabbing and shaking some sense into her. “Prove it.”
“You look like a tough gal, someone who could handle ruffians on the road,” he said. “You claim to be well enough to travel. Prove it and I will let you go with a clear conscience.” Never.
Maya clambered out of the bed, consternation knitting her brows. “How?”
“Beat me in friendly combat.”
Hope shone in her eyes. “If I win, I can leave?”
He nodded. “If I win, you stay.”
“You want a fight, you’ll get a fight.” A fierce grin lit her face, as she rolled and loosened her shoulders. “Bring it on.”
Heat and adrenaline rushed through Akshay, shot to his groin. Oh yes, he liked this woman. A woman with lean muscles and sexy curves, who wore her scars with pride and relished a good fight. A woman after his own heart. He sauntered toward the door and beckoned her with a wave.
Mina Khan is a Texas-based writer and food enthusiast. She grew up in Bangladesh on stories of djinns (pronounced “gins”), ghosts and monsters. These childhood fancies now color her fiction. She daydreams of hunky paranormal heroes, magic, mayhem and mischief and writes them down as tales of romance and adventure.
Her first published work, The Djinn’s Dilemma, won the novella category of the 2012 Romance Through The Ages (published) contest.
A Tale of Two Djinns is a finalist in the 2013 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards (NERFA).
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Links to Mina’s website, blog, books, etc.
Blog: Stories by Mina Khan
**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Mina will give away digital copies (Kindle or Nook or PDF) of her first novella, THE DJINN’S DILEMMA, to TWO of her lucky readers who comments on either her Monday Interview or Wednesday Book Bench blogs!! Winner will be randomly selected and announced Monday, April 22, 2013. Thanks, Mina, for sharing your stories with us!