Day two of Ritu’s Marriage Unarranged, Blog Tour. Day Two.

Today my lovely and talented Sister Ritu Bhathal is here on the second stop of her blog tour and I am so excited.

Sis we are here to find out about your fabulous book that I have had the privilege to read.

Ritu Bhathal

The schedule so you know where to find her.

Tuesday4th FebWillow
Wednesday5th FebZoe
Thursday6th FebGeoff
Friday7th FebEloise
Saturday8th FebLinda Hill
Sunday9th FebLucy – Launch
Monday10th FebMarje
Tuesday11th FebCarol
Wednesday12th FebColleen

How to Describe Marriage Unarranged?

Genre:  Chickpea Curry Lit – Chick Lit with an Indian Twist!

The Blurb…

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set.

Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…

That’s the blurb sorted, now let’s have a

a cuppa and a chat.

Hi Willow! Thank you so much for hosting Day 2 of the blog tour for my debut novel, Marriage Unarranged.

Let’s get comfortable and answer a few questions!

Where did the original idea come from?

I was at home, one day, during the build-up to my own wedding, and it occurred to me that sometimes, marriage isn’t that straightforward. What would happen if, in the midst of all plans, something was to happen to totally send the marriage train off track?

Did you base it on anyone you know or was it all off the top of your head? 

The story, as it has been written is not based on anyone, or any situation I have experienced. Sure, there are a few characters who may have taken on traits of people I know. Aashi’s father, Mohinder, for example, is drawn hugely from my own Pops, but for the most part, it is fictional. Of course, I always find life to be the biggest inspiration, so there are reactions, and memories used to create as life-like an experience as possible.

Why did it take you 20 years to write this story?

Ha! Yes, that looooong time frame! Well, no one ever said writing a book was going to be easy or straightforward. If you read my blog, you will know that the life of Ritu is pretty full on, and it has been like that for most of my life. When I started writing, as I mentioned earlier, I was in the midst of my own wedding preparations, so snatched moments meant I was able to write a few thousand words of the beginning of the book. I’m more of a pantser, than a planner, so I really didn’t know where this story was going to go, but the seed had been planted. 

Fast forward a few years after marriage, and I found the floppy disc this story had been languishing on. I reread it and thought ‘Yes, I want to write more,’ and Hubby Dearest bought me my first ever laptop to help me fulfil my dream. A few more thousand words appeared, then kids happened.

It wasn’t until I started blogging that the flame to finish was really ignited. Of course, time, I had very little of, so snatched moments were all I had to write, until 2017, where I pegged August as #RiNoWriMo – Ritu’s Novel Writing Month, and I wrote over 50,000 words! It wasn’t finished yet, but so close. The last couple of years have been dedicated to finishing it, and getting feedback, advice from beta readers and my editor, to finally reaching this stage, of publication!

Where do you do most of your writing?

It really depends on the time of the day. If it is early morning, and I have energy to write, it would be at the dining room table, or on the sofa, but more often than not, my desk is my lap on my bed, during the evening hours, once the children are fed, watered and settled. 

How do you fit writing a best seller into your super busy life?

With great difficulty! (And, best seller – well, I hope so! From your mouth to the buyers and readers ears, sis!). It’s all about planning, at the end of the day. I have a busy life, as a wife, mother and teacher, and my day job takes most of my energy, and my children zap the rest of my patience. But writing, for me has been a form of relaxation, so I will often find time in the evenings to write. Recently, health meant that I didn’t write as much towards the end of last year, but I am hoping that 2020 brings better health and more energy, so I can concentrate on book two!

How much influence does your family have on your writing?

As I mentioned before, I always find that life is a huge inspiration and influence on my creativity. I write best about things I know of and have experienced.

My family, and their encouragement, have helped me to reach this stage in my writing career. The children have heard a lot of my work, and, despite being younger than my intended readers, they have always given me lots of ‘advice’. Hubby Dearest is neither a reader nor writer (unless you count keeping up with the news!) but he is my silent support.

I think I will always be mindful of what I write, knowing that my family will want to read it, both young and old. In fact, Pops, my dad, has already told me that despite not reading books, he wants to read mine!



Now Aashi would like to introduce you to her fiancé, Ravi, to us.

“Hiya! It’s me again, Aashi. 

So, you know I’m getting married, and I know you’re angling for an invitation, but how about I tell you a little bit about Ravi.

Ravi is, as you know, the man I am going to marry. He’s twenty-seven, good looking, and he works in marketing, doing something, though I don’t know the ins and outs. I know it’s important though. He’s often out with clients and going on work trips. But he always calls me, tells me he misses me. 

He’s got lots of friends, and they go out a lot, boys’ nights, that sort of thing. At least he doesn’t mind when I want to spend time with Kiran, my best friend, because he understands. We like to watch films, Bollywood ones, and he’s not that keen, and he likes to go clubbing, but that’s not really my scene. 

Which is funny, because we met at one of my friend’s birthday parties. I didn’t want to go, but Kiran twisted my arm, she didn’t want to go on her own. We got there and Ravi was there with some of his mates. He was stood at the bar with them and kept on staring at me, then came over and asked me if I wanted a drink. I went red (well, that’s what Kiran says I did) and couldn’t answer. I mean, he’s just so handsome, I didn’t know what to say to him! But then again, I’ve not really talked to many guys who aren’t family. I’ve not really had many friends who are male.

Anyway, he ended up asking me out on a date, and I said yes. Even though I’d never been on a date before. My parents would kill me! But I couldn’t help it. I’d fallen head over heels for this guy who I’d only just met. We went for coffee one day, then it was dinner the next, and slowly, we fell into a relationship. 

I’m lucky. He’s Sikh, and everything about his family and background matches with our family, so it was easy to broach the subject of marriage with my parents. My mummy-ji would have liked it to be an arranged marriage, but when she found out about his family, she was more than happy. 

He was a bit nervous about getting married, but I think I managed to convince him, after all we are perfect together. And, you know, we really like each other, so the next step is getting married, isn’t it?”

Now I can tell you that I have read this fabulous book by Ritu and I absolutely loved it. As soon as I started reading it I could clearly see all the characters come to life before my eyes. Not only is this a great story it has the potential to have many sequels. I tell you all I love it .

About Ritu


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,, 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.

Books:  Marriage UnarrangedPoetic RITUals

Ritu’s Personal Links

Has Ritu written any other books

Poetic Rituals

Buy Poetic Rituals here

So now it time to say

To my best Sis Ritu it’s been

37 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ritu
    Feb 04, 2020 @ 08:03:07

    Thank you so much sis, for such a fabulous post! I shall be sharing it properly when I get home! ❤


  2. Ritu
    Feb 04, 2020 @ 08:04:13

    Reblogged this on But I Smile Anyway… and commented:
    Thank you to Willow, my dear Blog Sis, for featuring me on Day two of my Blog tour!


  3. You Can Always Start Now
    Feb 04, 2020 @ 09:51:45

    Very exciting and great to learn a bit more about you.


  4. Mary Smith
    Feb 04, 2020 @ 11:47:59

    Another great post on Ritu’s tour, making me look forward to reading this even more 🙂


  5. newepicauthor
    Feb 04, 2020 @ 14:08:54

    Is Ritu your real sister, or just someone that you call sis?


  6. newepicauthor
    Feb 04, 2020 @ 15:02:47

    Thanks, that is what I thought and it is wonderful that you became friends through blogging.


  7. robbiesinspiration
    Feb 04, 2020 @ 16:25:24

    Another lovely post, Ritu. Your publication date is very close now. Terence thinks your cover is very clever with the blank photographs and camera.


  8. Trackback: Day two of Ritu’s Marriage Unarranged, Blog Tour. Day Two. | willowdot21 – Ritu Bhathal
  9. OIKOS™-Publishing
    Feb 04, 2020 @ 20:36:04

    Great posting! Thank you for the scheduling too. Michael


  10. willowdot21
    Feb 04, 2020 @ 21:52:02

    Thank you it all helps to spread the word for our sis Ritu 💜


  11. Trackback: Definitely a great read. | willowdot21

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