Diana R. Chambers Diana R. Chambers
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The Ruby Curse

Princess
Actress Nancy Valentine,
The American Maharani

Diana's recent Asia trip included further research for her latest novel, The Ruby Curse. A work of historical fiction based on the life of actress Nancy Valentine—"the next Lana Turner"—it is the story of a young woman's journey from Hollywood royalty to Royal India. A rising star, Nancy meets the dashing, Cambridge-educated Maharaja of Cooch Behar on his first visit to America in late 1946. Their romance takes her to India in the explosive last days of the British Raj, as this ancient land teeters on the brink of independence—or chaos. She enters a world of palaces, jewels and tiger hunts, but also one of conspiracy, danger and attempted murder. As opposition to their marriage grows, Nancy is viewed as a threat by all—especially Bhaiya's elegant, powerful mother. Then his crown jewel, the fabled Moghul Ruby, disappears...a mystery that will shadow her until the present day.

This project had an almost fated quality for Diana. Upon Nancy Valentine in Malibu, she knew she wanted to write her story. Like the young Nancy, she had mooned over a world globe whose spinning journey always ended at India.

"In my life," Diana says, "all roads keep leading to India, a mesmerizing, unsettling world that also drew my character sixty years ago. While I became a writer, she became the first and last American Maharani."

Read more about The Ruby Curse in Diana's "Letters from Asia"

Book Book Book
From left to right:
Nancy and Bhaiya on Eiffel Tower, Paris
The Maharaja of Cooch Behar, Jagadippendra "Bhaiya" Narayan
Cooch Behar Palace, Cooch Behar, India