A Royal Wedding – release day!

It’s release day for A Royal Wedding, written by my alter ego Jeevani Charika. It’s available on all ebook platforms now.

A Royal Wedding UK cover

Here are five things I’ve tried to explore in the book:

Feminist princesses – is this possible? Given that we’ve had some many powerful Queens, we know that the royal family tends towards powerful women, so why not have powerful women who want to work make life better for other women? My heroine, Kumari is campaigning for a project that educates women in basic health and hygiene. The hero, Prince Benedict was raised by three strong women (his mother and two sisters). They are both feminists in their own ways.

The press fascination with race and with royalty. The tabloid press coverage of Meghan Markle was borderline racist (sometimes not even borderline – just outright racist). Each chapter in the book starts with a newspaper clipping. There’s a lot about race in there…

Family – Kumari’s greatest conflict and her strongest support comes from her family. Benedict’s family has always got his back. The people we love bind us and support us in equal measure.

The North/South divide and the class divide – this is a very British thing. Kumari is a middle class woman from Leeds. Benedict is an aristocrat from the South. At one point someone suggests that Kumari takes elocution lessons to soften her Yorkshire accent. You can imagine what she says to that!

The importance of inspiring role models – one of my favourite scenes is the one where Kumari realises that she’s become a figure that inspires little girls across the country. It was one of the first scenes I knew was going to be in the book. You’ll know it when you see it. A blue sari makes an appearance.

If you fancy all of that, wrapped in a happy ever after, go check out A Royal Wedding. It’s the first time I’ve written about race/ ethnicity in a romance (and, not-coincidentally, written under my real name). If you like the book, let me know!





Sri Lankan party food – #1 Chick peas

Kicking off the Sri Lankan recipes I promised – here’s one of my favourite party foods. Post your own recipes and link to the Facebook party (or post recipes at the FB party itself) and you could win a copy of either Having a Ball or Kick Assitude.

Copyright Indi Samarajeeva

Fried Chickpeas ( or ‘kadala thel dala’)

Fried chickpeas are the Sri Lanka equivalent of popcorn. A handful of these in a twist of newspaper and you’re good to go. I sometimes make a chilli-free version in the summer, as something to nibble if we’re sitting out in the garden.


1 tin of chickpeas

Dessicated coconut, the coarser the better

Mustard seeds (about a teaspoon full)

Curry leaves – 10

Onions diced finely

Garlic, finely diced

Dried chili flakes to taste

Vegetable oil or ground nut oil – a good splash


Heat the oil gently in a pan and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop, the oil is hot enough. Add onion, curry leaves and garlic and fry until the onions are translucent. Then add dessicated coconut, chili flakes and chick peas. Give them a good stir so that all the chickpeas are coated with the mixture. Leave to cool a bit. Enjoy.

I’ve used store cupboard ingredients. The real thing uses rampe, which I can’t get hold of easily.