Tag Archives: Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

SAPAHM Guest: Grace Wen

Hi friends! Today we have Grace Wen visiting with us today! I don’t think we’ve ever had a post like this before, and I think it’s really cool. Grace is also part of the Smithsonian Heritage Month series, specifically, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! I think it’s really cool how food and culture is so intertwined – and how Asians especially seem to be touching on the subject this month. 😉 Hey – with so much good food, why not, right? Anyway I think Grace leaves the best closing here possible, so I’ll just leave her – and you all to it! Michigan cuisine ahoy! [And you’ll see I’m on my best behavior for SAPAHM because I didn’t even make any snarky comments about that state up north! … >.> I mean…] *angelface* 😉

Asian Americans in MichiganDuring the first few years of my career, I wrote articles for food magazines and book proposals for local chefs. Although I write mostly fiction now, I have an essay in the book Asian-Americans In Michigan where I share my experience as an ABC (American Born Chinese) who rarely cooks or eats Chinese food. Continue reading

SAPAHM Guest: Vicki Essex

Hi friends!! So we have Vicki Essex visiting with us today! She’s also participating in SAPAHM, and this year Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is welcome to all! (Also Canada is part of North America, so that counts right?) 😉 I love these posts about identity and experience, and I hope you’re enjoying them too – and maybe learning something?

The Futility of Cultural Self-Identity When No One Believes You By Vicki Essex

A Recipe for ReunionWhat are you?”

While I will usually answer this racially loaded question with a raised eyebrow, I generally don’t appreciate the follow up I sometimes get:

Are you sure?”

Or “Really? I thought you were _______.”

Or “Funny, I don’t even think of you as ______. I think of you as _______. ” Continue reading

SAPAHM Guest: Suleikha Snyder

Hi friends! As you see, today we have Suleikha Snyder visiting with us! I want to just take a minute and personally thank Suleikha for “coming back” – she was supposed to also have been a guest last year … but if you’ve been around for a bit you know last year just … didn’t work. And I didn’t really manage with the communication, so I really appreciate her not holding that against me (and the blog). Thanks, Suleikha! So let’s see what she has to say, shall we? 🙂

Throw This Bengali Tigress a Bone…
By Suleikha Snyder

Spice and Secrets“Wow. She speaks Bengali so well,” the woman, not much older than me, confides to my mother as if I’m not sitting just a few seats away. “I’ve been speaking it all my life,” I interject, dryly, as I have done so often over the years — even to my own father, who always marveled when I dropped a Sylheti word into a phone conversation or groused about an unwelcome meddler being “kebab mein haddi,” a bone in the kebab. (That’s not even Bengali…but I digress.) Continue reading

SAPAHM Guest: Jax Cassidy

Hey y’all! We’ve got Jax Cassidy carrying the APAHM banner today! 🙂 I hope you’ll read on!

Jax CassidyHi, I’m contemporary author Jax Cassidy and I’m SO excited that Limecello asked me to participate this month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM). It’s such an important month because it’s about celebrating Asian culture and heritage. I’m also equally stoked to be able to share with you some things I’ve been researching, on and off, for about a decade now. Continue reading

SAPAHM Guest: Grace Callaway

You guys, I love this post. I’m so so happy that I decided to go ahead and celebrate the Smithsonian Heritage Months again this year, but even more, that I have such wonderful guests participating! There are so many amazing, vibrant women in the romance community. I like to feature them regularly, but there’s just something about the Heritage Months that makes it that much more special to me. Today we have Grace Callaway, as you see, and I hope you’ll read on!

The Duke Who Knew Too MuchHello, Grace Callaway here, and I’m delighted to be a guest on Limecello’s blog. In celebration of APAHM, I’d like to reflect upon my own journey as a writer of steamy historical romances. The relationship of my ethnic identity (Asian Canadian) to my stories might not be readily apparent, yet the more I pondered the connection, the more I realized that my cultural background has a deep, inherent impact on the kind of stories I write and am interested in. Continue reading

SAPAHM Guest: Bella Andre

HI FRIENDS!!! IT’S MAY!!! WHEE!!! Well first of all, I didn’t realize capslock was on but then I left it because it fits. Now, I like May a lot. We’re solidly into spring up here, it’s warmer and beautiful out, summer is just around the corner, and guess what? It’s APAHM! “WTF is APAHM, Lime” do you ask? Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! The “S” is for Smithsonian. At ALBTALBS I’ve taken to celebrating the Smithsonian Heritage Months, and I love doing it. I am also  excited because we’ve got Bella Andre guesting with us to kick off the month. This is what she has to say. 🙂

Confessional Writing

All I Ever Need is YouBefore I began writing romance novels, I was a singer-songwriter who released 4 CDs, toured internationally, and wrote with hit songwriters in Nashville and Los Angeles. Joni Mitchell was my idol, and I know most people would agree that she is one of the best songwriters of all time. Now that my days are completely full writing books, I don’t write songs anymore, but I still listen to music all day long as I write. And the songwriter that I listen to most often is Taylor Swift (although I also often still go back to Joni’s “Midway”, “Amelia” and “The Gallery”). Adam Samberg’s NY city cop character, Jake Peralta, on Brooklyn 99 said it best when he explained why Taylor is his favorite singer: “Her songs makes me feel things.” Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

Don’t you think I forgot about Teaser Tuesday! Cuz I didn’t! I had asked Courtney Milan to provide an excerpt, but she did me one better! She got one from Sonali Dev – so really here’s Courtney (her continuation – I wanted to separate this out because shew – this excerpt!)

Luckily, I asked Sonali if I could give you a teaser, and she was nice enough to send one along. So here it is:

A Bollywood AffairMili 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.

There was a knock on the door. “Who is it?”

“Room Service.” Mili’s husky voice punched him square in the gut. His heartbeat sped up. The blood rushing through his veins sped up. Even his breathing sped up like some teenybopper coming face-to-face with her crush. All those damned pushups down the toilet.

He pulled the door open a crack. Whatever droll line he was going to throw at her died on his tongue. She was wearing a turquoise sari. Her hair cascaded around her shoulders, spiral ribbons falling all the way to her exposed waist. Someone had outlined her eyes in smoky kohl. Her irises glittered like gemstones. So what? They always glittered.

She pushed the door and squeezed past him into the room.

“Come on in,” he growled, much like the wild beast raging in his chest.

“You’re in a dressing gown.” She was standing too close to him. The passage leading into the room was narrow. Too narrow.

He could smell her once he got past the blast of perfume. “What did Ridhi spray you with, a hose?” Without meaning to, he leaned in to smell her. Great, she’d turned him into a lecher, that’s what she’d done.

She stepped away. “Oh, good, you remember Ridhi. My best friend. The one whose wedding you drove four hours for.”

“I didn’t drive four hours for Ridhi.” He tried to hold her gaze, but she looked away, that damned flush swept up her cheeks, maroon and pink tinting the deepest caramel, like a rose that needed its own name.

She took a breath, raised those glittering onyxes, and met his gaze. A head-on collision. “I’m sorry, Samir. Can’t we put that behind us and go back to being friends?”


“Okay, so don’t be friends. But get dressed. The wedding ceremony is less than an hour away. We have to get back to Ridhi’s house.”

“I’m not going to the wedding.”

“Okay. But I have to be at the wedding. And you have to take me.” Now her eyes went all pleading. If she joined her palms he was throwing her out.

“How did you get here?”

“I made Ranvir drop me off.”

“Then make him pick you up.” It’s the least Pillsbury Doughboy could do for her.

“Samir, can you get dressed, please?” She pressed her hands together and he cursed.

“I already answered that.”

“Listen, you owe me. Come on.”

“I owe you? For what, for lying to me?”

“I did not lie to you.” She looked around the room and found the magazine lying on the bed. “I protected you. From that witch. It wasn’t easy. She’s scary.”

“Right.” But he was stupid enough to smile. She took full advantage and blasted him with all one-twenty watts of her smile. And he wanted to kiss her sneaky lips so bad, he had to step away and push into the mirrored closet behind him. “You should not have come here, Mili. You don’t just walk into some man’s hotel room like this.”

“You’re not just some man. You’re Samir.” She pushed the cascading mass of curls off her face with both hands and he knew it was going to bounce right back.

“Okay, somewhere in there is a compliment.”

“Of course it’s a compliment. I feel safe with you. You’re my friend. I know you will never hurt me. The list is endless.”

Yeah, an endless pile of crap. He didn’t feel safe with her. He didn’t want to be just her friend. And he knew he was going to hurt her shitless. “So this is my married friend come to get me. Nothing more.”

She nodded and her hair slid back around her face. “Nothing more.”

He dropped his robe.

At least five shades of red rushed up her cheeks. “What are you doing?” It was no more than a squeak, but he was impressed she got the words out.

“I’m changing like you asked me to, why?” He had pulled on boxers earlier, but the rest of him was as bare as the day he was born. He turned away and threw open the closet with both arms, no point having those back muscles if he couldn’t put them to good use when he needed to. He took his time pulling pants out of the closet. Then an even longer time bending over and pulling them on. He’d been a model for almost a decade. She had no idea whom she was messing with.

She made an incoherent sound behind him, something between a choke and a groan.

So good! I can’t wait to read this.