EM Lynely’s travels have gotten into her stories before, and I love them for their sense of place (among other reasons, like romance and plot). I asked her to tell us about her time in India. If I can’t go–I’ll read. Here’s EM:
A couple of years ago, Brandilyn Carpenter asked me for my favorite places in the world. I can’t find the list right now (that would have been a miracle!) but I do know that you’d find Jaisalmer, India in one of the top spots.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel extensively around the world and even luckier to have been able to set stories in many of my favorite places so I can share the joys (and the occasional horror) of my own experiences.
So I knew that eventually I’d set a story in one of the most amazing places I’ve even been: Jaisalmer. It’s really like a golden city floating above the desert near the border of India and Pakistan. It’s an old fortress, with thick walls not unlike those you’d find surrounding a medieval European castle. Narrow walkways wind up to the top of the city past the old palaces that the Rajasthani royalty once occupied.
And like many cities in India there are plenty of cattle wandering around. I had my own intimate encounter with one up near the top of the Jaisalmer fort when I got caught in a narrow alley with a horned devil who didn’t want to share the road. I don’t have a scar, but lets just say that those horns are kinda sharp. It was one of those experiences that brought home that I was in INDIA!!
I ended up spending about four months traveling around India and though I saw many amazing and incredible places, Jaisalmer remains among my favorite experiences. I hope you’ll feel that you’ve made the journey when you read Holy Cow!
Blurb: American med student Duncan Stirling is traveling around India with his two best friends, who have just married. Their last stop is the magical city of Jaisalmer, a fort in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan. He feels like a third wheel on their honeymoon, though the three friends had the trip planned for years, to celebrate finishing medical school and have a last adventure before they start their residencies back in the States.
Akash Nandi is an Indian man from a wealthy and well-known family. At least that’s how he appears. He hides the truth that his family is descended from Nandi, Lord Shiva’s bull, and they’ve guarded sacred places for millennia. Being gay and immortal is tough, especially when his family’s expectations make finding the right mate impossible. As his grandmother, the family matriarch, nears death, a struggle for power puts Akash and his new crush, the charming American Duncan, in harm’s way.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Daily Dose package “A Walk on the Wild Side.”