Writing Romance as a Muslim Woman – An Interview with Layla Poulos

Original Post: Haute Hijab

A Muslim woman who wears the hijab and is a romance author? Why can’t all those descriptions belong to the same woman, says Layla Poulos, whose debut novel, My Way to You, is climbing its way up some of Amazon’s Best Sellers charts. Layla, who has been writing for years and loves the romance genre, advocates for more openness and discussions about romance and sexuality from a faith-based perspective. When it comes to her fiction writing, however, she places no restrictions on how much heat she brings to her stories. I recently spoke with Layla, who writes under the pseudonym Lyndell Williams, about her career, writing romance stories as a hijabi Muslim woman, and if she will ever write romance with Muslim characters.

A covered Muslim woman is probably the last person readers would expect to write a romance. What made you want to write in the genre?

I’ve been an avid romance reader all of my adult life. When presented with the opportunity to study the genre during my graduate studies, I took it. I now explore romance as a reader and romance scholar.

Read the entire article – 1,297 more words.


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#MFRWHooks – Meet The Brothers in Law

The Brothers in Law romance series is about 6 diverse men who meet in law school and become lifetime friends. Their camaraderie plays a role in each quest for one of them to find and hold onto love.

In the first book, My Way to You, Simon Young falls for his best friend Marcus’s younger sister. Will he have to choose between them?

Enjoy an excerpt from the shorts story Brothers in Law that introduces all six of them and shows how they met.

Brothers in Law - Lyndell WilliamsBrothers in Law (Short Story)

Available at Amazon

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Excerpt

Continue reading “#MFRWHooks – Meet The Brothers in Law”

Food and Romance – Bean Pies for the Heart

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#OpenBook

Share a recipe for a food that comes from one of your books.

Yay! Food is so a part of my romances. I like to use some of what characters eat as symbolism.

For example, in My Way to You, I have Regina either making or eating eggs to represent the fragile but nourishing nature of the developing relationship between her and Simon. They are so good for each other, but things constantly threaten their ability to be together.

But, I’m not sharing an egg recipe. I’m picking something that Regina’s brother Marcus and his wife Toni eat.

Marcus Kent loves him some Toni. He calls her sweetness, and she is the main person to bring him to equilibrium. Basically, she got him on lock, and he goes out of his way to make her happy.

In one scene of My Way to You, Marcus treks from Harlem to the famous Abu’s Homestyle Bakery in Brooklyn. Abu’s is a historical landmark for New Yorkers, especially African American Muslims like me. They have some serious oven action going on, and whenever I get a chance to travel the 2 hours, I stock up, because the cakes and pies are everything.

Toni has a similar liking for the bakery, so Marcus picks up a box of assorted pies for her.

Check out the excerpt.

Continue reading “Food and Romance – Bean Pies for the Heart”

#MFRWAuthor-Woke Romance is a Thing?

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MFRW 52-Week Blog Challenge

Week 1: Writing – Doing it for fun, profit or other?

For many authors, it may seem like questions like the one above are asked so frequently that they have become trite and answering them tedious and tiresome.

Before releasing my first novel—in my other life—I interviewed authors and heard them complain. So, I  would try to avoid asking such questions. Now I realize my mistake.

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Continue reading “#MFRWAuthor-Woke Romance is a Thing?”

OpenBookBlogHop-Layla Writes Love 2019 Goals

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#OpenBook

Share your writing goals for 2019.

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I’ve been asking writers and authors to share their 2019 writing goals all last week.

I reached out to romance authors and ask them to tell readers some of their goals for this year, and I did the same for Muslim authors on the NbA Muslims blog on Patheos.

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It was great reading what authors and writers had planned as well as including some of my goals. I also took a moment to take part in an Instagram author’s challenge post.

 

I’ve been busy planning and goal making. So, I’m going to use this Open Book Blog Hop post to round up all of the goals I made and maybe add a couple of more.  Here we go! Continue reading “OpenBookBlogHop-Layla Writes Love 2019 Goals”

#MFRWauthor-The Dream Vacation That Isn’t One

What is your dream vacation?

The world offers so much, that thinking of what would be the ultimate vacation may be hard for some. Even when considering all of the prospective destinations, none of it means much if I can’t find what I’m looking for when traveling.

I think venturing out into the world is more than it’s cracked up to be. Basically, I don’t find stuffing of my life into some suitcases and my person into some mode of transport to traverse the earth particularly thrilling, especially considering my traveling track record.

Mis Quince AñosI spent most of my life in one spot, acquiring my knowledge of the world through books and documentaries. It wasn’t until I was older, that my marriage to a wonderful husband who loves to explore the world that I started to travel, and I did not take extremely well to it.

Basically, I like seeing the world, I just don’t like doing the packing, driving, flying, etc. to see it.

Therefore, the perfect vacation for me would be an empty house with the world coming to me, well the part that would do the cooking and cleaning while I get to eat and read in bliss. The rest of the world will be shut out, except for Papa Bear. It’s been too long since either one of us has truly enjoyed domestic quietude with each other.

So, cleaner, chef, hubby make up my dream vacation.

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My Way To You – Review by iHeartReading

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Rating: 5 stars

I loved how the relationship between the two characters, despite their instant attraction, still moved rather slowly from that point. Both of them were reluctant to get in an actual relationship, and they each had their own reasons, which made a lot of sense for me. The cultural clash between Regina and Simon’s cultures was also very interesting and added additional challenges for their relationship.

Read the full review here – 319 more words

My Way to you is available on Amazon

Visit my merch store to order a signed copy. Continue reading “My Way To You – Review by iHeartReading”

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