Tuesday, June 11, 2019

On Loving by Lili Naghdi

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lili Naghdi will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to It's Raining Books. Is your life anything like it was two years ago?

It changed since I wrote my first novel. I am using social media more now to be able to connect to my readers. I never had time to use Facebook and Instagram before, but now I am making time to do so. I always looked at writers from the other side of the fence, from a reader’s perspective. But now I appreciate them more, since I am becoming more familiar with their challenges. Writing this novel opened a new door for me which is very interesting to me.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve written two short stories, and few poems in Persian and English through my life as a hobby but never published them. On Loving which I published this year is my first novel.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Be bold, be yourself and explore your emotions, your thoughts and beliefs that arise from within you and share them wholeheartedly with your readers. I'm sure whatever comes purely from within will always sit well with any reader. Trust your readers and that will always work without a doubt. For me, knowing and feeling my characters while writing about them, their dialogues and etc. was such an incredible way of connecting with the whole story at a different level. I believe thinking in a way that you are also a part of your story and experiencing your characters’ reactions may make a huge difference in your perception and approach to writing and creating your story. Let the characters talk to you in their own ways so you can reflect the true meaning of what they really experience in the plot. When you talk to people or even have a very simple daily encounter, don’t hesitate to evaluate your own feelings toward the topic of discussion or their reactions, their facial expressions. It will certainly help for character development and it may even help you to create a new character that can make your story more relatable for your readers. Be fair and stay away from any prejudice or any preconceived opinion that is not based on reason. It subconsciously pushes you toward wrong misconceptions and eventually kills your creativity.

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

It is all about “human’s emotions” and how each person approaches their emotions in different ways. Both male and female characters in this story take you to their own worlds, letting you explore their challenges with them step by step. I tried to use literature and its beauties in my story to make a bridge between cultures and to encourage my readers to search for more after they finished reading this novel.

In 1972, Dr. Rose Hemmings has just finished her general surgery residency when a haunted stranger is shot in front of her in a New York City bar, and their lives become forever intertwined. And when, having been given the blessing of her adoptive father on his deathbed, Rose travels to prerevolutionary Iran to discover the past her American family kept secret from her, she finds a true Pandora's box. It is a world both foreign and familiar, in which her primary place is as the heiress to a great tribe. In Iran, Rose will find family she never dreamed of, her own people, and a man who loves her as passionately as he does the rare black roses of his garden. She will return to the United States carrying a new secret and torn between two men: the one she loves helplessly, and the one who loves her unconditionally.

Woven throughout with Persian poetry ancient and modern, On Loving is the story of one woman's lifetime of love and loss, of societal change in a nomadic people, and of overcoming personal challenges, including mental and physical health, to find true contentment. Above all, it is a story of love: its physiology, psychology and philosophy; the many forms it takes; its myths and truths; its challenges, its joys and its gifts.

Read an Excerpt:

It was almost nine when I got back. Kim had fed Layla and put her to sleep. I sent Kim home for the night, kissed Layla’s face good night and went to my room to change for bed.

Siyavash’s letter was still on the floor. I bent down and picked it up.

Inhaling the scent of the dried black rose, I wandered to the window and stared at the thin, even white carpet of snow on the street. Where do I want to be? I asked myself. Somewhere beautiful, calming. Somewhere full of life, with a boundless, vaulted sky above my head, perhaps!

I then closed my eyes and let myself being taken to Siyavash’s majestic rose garden in Isfahan. I could feel the breeze in my hair, could feel the warmth of the sun on my face. I remembered how Siyavash had looked at me with love and admiration there. I was blind not to see it then. I couldn’t recall Dean looking at me like that …

I opened my eyes and read Siyavash’s letter again, raking my fingers through my hair. Then, nervously rubbing my neck, I went to the phone next to my bed.

“Good evening,” I said when the other end of the line picked up.

“Rose! Is that … Is that you?” It was Siyavash.

“Yes, it’s me!” I paused and swallowed the lump that had risen in my throat. “Come back home! Just come back to me!”

I quickly hung up and rushed to the window, as if for air. Snowflakes were still dancing their way down to the ground.

My chest felt so constricted that I could hardly breathe.

Am I questioning Dean’s love for me? I wondered. Am I comparing it to Siyavash’s? But that was impossible! I shook my head. I’m just giving Siyavash a chance to redeem himself, a proper second chance. But the reminder to myself was pointless: the truth was something else, and I knew it!

I was at fault here. I was the guilty — guilty of blocking not only my ears but also my soul from hearing Siyavash’s voice, so ignorant indeed that my heart was finally reproaching me for my bigotry and cruelty.

I folded the letter and tucked it away in the drawer next to my bed.

I’ll know soon how I need to deal with him, I told myself. Or I’ll just have to find a way around it!

About the Author:
Lili Naghdi is an Iranian Canadian physician who was born and raised in Tehran. She continued her education and research after moving to Canada with her husband and daughter in 1996. Today she practices family medicine in Vaughan, Ontario, with particular interests in women’s and mental health. Being a family physician gives her the privilege of connecting with patients and participating in their care with a deeper understanding of the physical, emotional and social adversities they face. Interacting with people of many different backgrounds has also provided Dr. Naghdi with the opportunity to grow as a person, a physician and an author.

Growing up in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran, Lili became fascinated by the magical realm of literature, poetry and history. She began collecting prized quotations at the young age of eight. Dr. Naghdi has written poetry and short stories in both Farsi and English, but she eventually followed William Wordsworth’s advice to “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart,” and turned to fiction.

On Loving is her first novel. Inspired by both the ordinary people she has the honor to support and by the great literature of Persia and the world — from Hafez to Forugh Farrokhzad and from John Steinbeck to Margaret Mitchell — Dr. Naghdi passionately agrees with Boris Pasternak, whose Yuri Zhivago is a physician and patriotic poet, when he writes: “Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.”

Website: http://www.lilinaghdi.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44310723-on-loving
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/lilinaghdiauthor/posts
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/naghdil/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Lili-Naghdi/e/B07P9SHDLJ
Barnes and Noble Author Page: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/books/1130591456?ean=9781999497002

Videos of her book launch:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It is such a great pleasure joining you today on the 7th stop of my virtual tour. Thank you all for participating in our discussions. I’d like to extend my gratitude to our wonderful host for giving me this opportunity. Also, I'd like to thank Goddess Fish Promotions for coordinating this tour.

    “On Loving”, my debut novel, is not only a love story but in fact, it is a story about love itself, its physiology and philosophy, the many forms it takes, its myths and truths, its challenges, its joys and its gifts. It is the story of one woman’s lifetime of love and loss, and of the true meaning of love, and this “true meaning” could be different for different people.

    I’d like to ask everyone the following question (on each and every stop of the tour), and I’d really appreciate everyone’s participation:

    How do you define “LOVE” in your own words and based on your own experiences?

    So … let me know what’s on your mind!


    Lili Naghdi

  3. Thank you for taking the time to share your terrific book with us. I enjoyed reading about it.

  4. This sounds like such a great book!! I can't wait to read it all!!

  5. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

  6. Great excerpt - thanks for sharing!

  7. How long ago did you come up with the idea for this book?

  8. Hi Bernie. Thanks for logging in. It was end of February 2018 when I suddenly decided to type the first few lines and ... here we are!

  9. Thank you for your kind attention. Good luck in the giveaway!

  10. I like the idea of a "haunted stranger".

  11. The "haunted stranger" who changes Rose's life forever! Thanks for joining us. Good luck with the draw!

  12. Thank you all for joining us. I'd also like to thank our host again for this opportunity. Good luck in the giveaway.


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?