RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: May 2014

Indian weddings: why I love and loathe them..

Posted on

Okay first of all hello to everyone once again, I’ve neglected this blog for a very long time now and thought it was about time I posted something, so here you go!


This year my family and I have been invited to a lot of weddings, when I mean a lot, I mean we have a whole pile of invitations lying around the house. Over the years I’ve loved attending weddings because they are (obviously) such a joyous occasion. However, lately I’ve started to feel that weddings (Indian weddings as such) have become an occasion to see how extravagant a wedding is rather than actually being an occasion to celebrate one’s marriage.

Now I’m a Sikh, so as a result I’ve only ever attended Indian weddings and so this post will based on my own experiences from these weddings.

Reasons why I love Indian weddings:

1) The food – nothing beats Indian food.

2) The music – my family originates from the state of Punjab in India, so obviously whilst growing up in England, I’ve been influenced by a lot of Indian music which I now happen to love.

3) The relatives – it’s great to catch up with the relatives I do like and ones I haven’t seen for a few months, okay years.

That’s about it. Considerably short, I know and I also now realise that my reasons for loathing the weddings is probably going to be very long so just bare with me.

Reasons why I loathe Indian weddings:

1) The amount of people that attend – seriously if you’ve ever been to an Indian wedding, you’ll know what I’m talking about. As if having just family wasn’t enough, let’s call over the whole neighbourhood and act like we know every single person that attends.

2) The match-making aunties – okay I know this may seem insignificant but seriously if you’re a single woman from the ages of 18-28 you should probably run. For some reason weddings become a match-making event to try and hook up young girls and boys. Like hello, we’re here to see someone get married, not plan our own wedding!

3) Buffet service – I know I said I love the food but when there’s a buffet service remember to just duck. It’s amazing how fast people run for food, I mean it’s not like the food is going anywhere right?

4) The drunkard men who can’t dance – this seriously ticks me off. Now if you want to get drunk by all means knock yourself out. But if you then proceed to dance after and step on my toes whilst doing so, I will hunt you down! It irritates me how easily some men throw down their liquor and then continue on to the dance floor as if they own it. Sorry to all those men who do behave but you know this happens so much now that it never fails to annoy me.

5) The gossiping aunties – they’re back! This time wreaking havoc upon innocent wedding guests by gossiping about their personal lives. I mean seriously if I’m studying English Literature at university instead of Medicine, how is it any of your business woman? Also word of advice aunties, if you’re sitting on the same table as me and gossiping about me, there’s a very likely chance that I can hear you, so take your gossiping somewhere else.

6) The cameraman – again those of you who have been to an Indian wedding will know that the cameraman always makes a video of you at the wrong time. Whether it’s when there’s food falling out of your mouth, or if you’re in the middle of cleaning your nose or even when you’re giving a dirty look to a drunken person on the dance floor, they always get your bad side and I don’t know about you but that really puts a downpour on my wedding celebrations.

7) The DJ and the dance floor – now if you’re going to invite 1000 people at least have a place that can accommodate us all. I love dancing at Indian weddings so I’m always disappointed when the dance floor isn’t big enough, the solution: don’t invite 1000 people. Also the DJ is usually quite good but for some reason whenever I get onto the dance floor, he/she always puts on the weirdest songs, that I’ve definitely never heard of. I mean why do this? Why not just play what you were playing 2 minutes ago instead of cutting it off for a song that makes no sense.

8) The competitions – now this may sound like a joke but it isn’t. At Indian weddings, everyone is competing against each other for various different things such as: which girl has the better hairstyle or dress, which guy can drink the most beer, who can stay on the dance floor the longest, who can eat the most food, who looks better the bride or groom (as if you can really compare them *face palm*), who can give the most expensive gifts, who can throw around the biggest amount of money onto the dance floor (trust me this happens) and the list is never-ending, so you get my point.

Now I think that’s all but as always this is just based from my own experience so if you disagree with any or all not to worry everyone has their own opinions and you’re most definitely entitled to one, as am I. I hope I haven’t offended anyone but in all honesty this is how I feel about most Indian weddings that I have attended in the past. That’s not to say every wedding has been weird, there have been some weird AND wonderful ones but I guess that’s just how we Indians roll.

I had a blast writing this post and would like to thank my sister for throwing around some ideas for me to include! Hope you enjoyed this post and if you haven’t been to an Indian wedding, I hope I haven’t scared you off! Really they’re not that bad – I promise. 😉

 

Advertisements

Justice for Abby by Cate Beauman

Posted on

02 Justice For Abby_ebook_1600

Blurb:

Fashion designer Abigail Harris has been rescued, but her nightmare is far from over. Determined to put her harrowing ordeal behind her and move on, she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life while eluding the men who want her dead.

The Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring is in ruins after Abby’s interviews with the police. The organization is eager to exact their revenge before her testimony dismantles the multi-million dollar operation for good.

Abby’s safety rests in the hands of former US Marshal, Jerrod Quinn. Serious-minded and obsessed with protocol, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest agent finds himself dealing with more than he bargains for when he agrees to take on his beautiful, free-spirited client.

As the trial date nears, Abby’s case takes a dangerous turn. Abby and Jerrod soon discover themselves in a situation neither of them expect while Jerrod fights to stop the ring from silencing Abby once and for all.

Review:

Justice for Abby is the latest (sixth) book in Cate’s The Bodyguard’s of L.A. County Series. After reading the first book, Morgan’s Hunter, I became a huge fan and followed every character’s journey through each book. When I found out that the next book would be about Abby and Jerrod (supporting characters in the previous books) I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. This book can be read as a standalone but I would recommend you read all the books in the series as they are fantastic and it also makes your reading experience more enjoyable. I can gladly say that like the rest, this book did not disappoint either.

Readers first meet both Abby and Jerrod in the fourth book, Forever Alexa. Abby is kidnapped by a Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring and her sister Alexa, family friend Jackson and US Marshal Jerrod come to her rescue. Readers are once again re-introduced to the pair in this book and it’s in this book that we see how Abby is recovering following her horrific ordeal. Jerrod now works was as an agent for Ethan Cooke’s Security and is given the task to keep Abby safe until her trial begins but there are a lot of people who want her dead. As Abby and Jerrod become closer the level of danger surrounding them increases and leaves the reader anticipating what will happen next.

I absolutely adored Abby’s character. After everything she went through, she still holds on to the belief that everything will be back to normal soon. She’s a bubbly, smart and loyal young woman whom I couldn’t help rooting for. Her love for those around her is what keeps her going and we see her evolve as an individual throughout the book. There’s not much I can say about Jerrod other than the fact that’s he’s perfect. Up until now my favourite Hero from the series was Tucker (who is the protagonist in the 5th book, Waiting for Wren) but that quickly changed when Jerrod came onto the scene. Jerrod, like Abby, evolves as a person as he learns to trust more and accept what’s been given to him. His dedication and loyalty to his job is admirable and his love and care for Abby is delightful. Together, they make a fantastic pairing for this book.

For me, the villains in this book were definitely more creepy and scary than the others. I’m glad that Cate has upped her stance where the villains are concerned because it adds to the suspense in the book overall. The supporting characters do a good job of filling in the gaps and give some much needed light-hearted moments in such an intense book, my favourite was Jerrod’s mother. The pace of the book follows seamlessly in line with the plot and adds to the overall enjoyment of the book.

Cate’s writing is lovely and her attention to detail is fantastic so even if you haven’t read the previous books, you won’t feel confused as everything is explained. The only slight issue I had with the book was with Stone’s character, whom we’re not told enough about and I was hoping to learn more about him but I’m presuming that Cate is going to get to that in her next book, fingers crossed!

However, if you are a romance suspense fan then this book is perfect for you and I couldn’t recommend it enough. It has lots of romance and whole dose of suspense that will take you on a roller coaster of a journey. Justice for Abby will make you cry, laugh, love and learn that sometimes all you need is someone special to help you move on from something terrible. Do not miss out on a fantastic book that is guaranteed to leave a massive smile on your face.

Overall Rating: 9/10

You can find out more about Cate and her books from her official website and/or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Deep Blue Sea by Tasmina Perry..

Posted on

tasmina perry deep blue sea

Blurb:

Beneath the shimmering surface lies a dark secret…

Diana and Julian Denver have the world at their feet. With a blissful marriage, a darling son and beautiful homes in London and the country, Diana’s life, to the outside world, is perfect. But nothing is as it seems…

When Julian dies suddenly and tragically, Diana is convinced there is more to it than meets the eye. She calls on the one person she had never wanted to see again – her sister, Rachel.

A former tabloid reporter, Rachel appears to be living the dream as a diving instructor on a Thai island. The truth is she’s in exile, estranged from her family and driven from her career by Fleet Street’s phone-hacking scandal.

For Rachel, Diana’s request opens old wounds. But she is determined to make amends for the past, and embarks on a treacherous journey to uncover the truth – wherever it may lead…

Review:

First of all thank you to the lovely people at Headline for providing me with a copy of this book through Bookbridgr. This was the first time I read a Tasmina Perry book and I can’t say it will be my last.

The story revolves around the mystery surrounding the death of Diana’s beloved husband, Julian. Diana, unlike everyone else, questions the way in which he dies and doesn’t believe for a second that everything is what it seems. As such, she calls on her sister Rachel to help her. One sibling helping another in a situation like this is normal but it comes as a surprise to all when Rachel comes to her sister’s aid in the hopes of solving Julian’s mysterious death regardless of the fact that the two sisters haven’t to spoken to one another in years.

From the beginning I was reeled into the story very quickly. We are shown the two different lives lived by two sisters, who in the prologue seem to have the closest relationship, yet now in the present for some reason, are miles apart from one another – physically and mentally. The mystery surrounding their apparent feud immediately had me hooked, as I found myself continuously wondering what could be the cause of their relationship deteoriating to such an extent.

I’m not sure how much I liked either of the sisters at the beginning but I can say that I definitely warmed to both as the plot progressed. For me, the character that had the most growth was Diana. From being reserved to naïve to independent, she blossomed into someone who you could truly appreciate as a person and I loved that she did because a lot of the time my sympathies were with her.

Tasmina puts a lot of detail into the personalities of the two sisters and I was constantly learning new things about both as the story progressed. Of course one the main issues that keeps these two sisters together (and at times apart) is Julian. From flashbacks we learn more about Julian and the type of man he was and why to Diana he seemed perfect and why to Rachel, he was perhaps not so perfect. Then of course his death brings about suspicion as to who he really was as an individual. Was he the man that Diana fell in love with and married or was he the snob that Rachel believed him to be? So many questions were brought up in the novel and they did well to keep my interest in the story going.

The pace of the book was slow, at times, but it reflected the mood of the characters perfectly. Tasmina’s writing is clear and easy to understand. She goes into a lot of detail, in terms of places and her character personalities are quite in depth so I felt as if I had known the protagonists my whole life. Lots of twists and turns kept the plot of the novel intriguing and I certainly didn’t expect the ending as it was and for that I’m certainly glad!

Overall, if you are a romance and women’s literature/family saga fan then this book is perfect for you. There’s suspense, love and a whole lot of family dynamics that keeps the story going and makes it even more brilliant! This book has definitely raised my expectations and I hope that, as soon I as I get my hands on another Tasmina Perry book, it’s as good as this. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy of this book because you will not regret it!

Overall Rating: 9/10

If you would like to find out more about Tasmina and her books you can do so from her official website and follow her on twitter and facebook.

The Star Child by Stephanie Keyes..

Posted on

Today I’m hosting the second day of The Star Child Blog Tour stop. I’m incredibly excited about today as this is my first blog tour and it is brought to you by Neverland Blog Tours. On today’s stop I’ve reviewed the fantastic novel by Stephanie Keyes PLUS there’s an exclusive giveaway for all you bookworms at the end but before that let’s get to know a bit about the author herself and then we’ll move onto the book itself and my review. Stay tuned!

Stephanie Keyes Bio:steph10Steph's new logo

Stephanie Keyes grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and spent years traveling and working as a Corporate Trainer before she made the decision to pen her first novel. As a teen, her family always accused her of having an “overactive imagination.” Now, she’s encouraged to keep her head in the clouds and share her world with readers.

Still a resident of the ‘Burgh, Steph is now Mom to two little boys who constantly keep her on her toes. In addition, she’s best friend to her incredible rockstar of a husband. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), a speaker and teacher, as well as a featured author for Love a Happy Ending Lifestyle e-magazine. Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which currently includes The Star Child, After Faerie, The Fallen Stars, and The Star Catcher, all from by Inkspell Publishing. The Fallen Stars was a 2013 semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. The Star Child has topped the Amazon best-seller list several times since its 2012 release.

Steph writes YA novels because she’s a hopeless romantic who lives to believe that Magick truly does exist. She is hard at work on a new YA novel.


Blurb:The Star Child book cover

The world is about to be cloaked in darkness. Only one can stop the night.

Kellen St. James has spent his entire life being overlooked as an unwanted, ordinary, slightly geeky kid. That is until a beautiful girl, one who has haunted his dreams for the past eleven years of his life, shows up spinning tales of a prophecy. Not just any old prophecy either, but one in which Kellen plays a key role.

Suddenly, Kellen finds himself on the run through a Celtic underworld of faeries and demons, angels and gods, not to mention a really ticked off pack of hellhounds, all in order to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time?


Review:

When I first heard about Stephanie’s book, I was definitely intrigued especially when there was a lot of talk about Irish folklore. I love fantasy and when it’s mixed with Irish folklore then you know you’ll be in for a great ride. As such, I experienced a roller coaster of a ride with this fantastic book.

The Star Child is the first book in a trilogy and the story revolves around the protagnoist Kellen St. James. Kellen, on the surface seems like any ordinary 17 year old except the fact that he’s a child prodigy, he’s already seen the girl of his dreams – quite literally and oh did I mention he’s also the bearer of an old Celtic prophecy? If that doesn’t have your bookworm instincts buzzing then I’m not sure what would.

I loved how, at the beginning of the book, we were given an insight into Kellen’s character and family life before he goes off on his adventure. In particular, Kellen’s interactions with his Grandma (from his flashbacks) were so emotive that I found myself at times feeling a lot of sympathy for Kellen and already rooting for a happy ending for him. Also I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only reader to have been somewhat surprised by Kellen’s relationship with his father. I became so involved in their family dynamics that I found myself continuously wondering as to what could have caused Kellen’s father’s behaviour and of course the mystery surrounding Kellen’s beloved mother.

Another mystery that’s quickly brought into the story is Calienta. The object of Kellen’s dreams and who goes on to become his reality. I loved Calienta because of her simplicity and the way in which she treated those around her. As a result the romance that blossoms in the novel is so heart-warming that I couldn’t help but immerse myself in it.

The story itself is told from a male perspective and for me that’s definitely something new. I can’t remember the last time I read a fantasy novel from the male perspective but I have to say Stephanie has done an incredible job. Kellen is just so easily lovable and reading from his perspective definitely made this book a refreshing and unique read.

The pace of the book was at times a little fast for me and I did feel like a lot of things were perhaps happening too quickly but if the fate of the world rests on your shoulders then there really isn’t time to waste right? As such, it didn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of the book and I found myself fully engrossed until the end. Stephanie’s writing was clear and precise and very easy to follow. Her attention to detail was so great that I had no problem picturing everything in my head. There were a few things that were left unsolved but with that shocker of an ending I’m betting that these will be resolved in the upcoming books and for that I am certainly glad!

The Star Child was a great fantasy filled read which allowed me to travel to an unknown, extraordinary world where nothing is what it seems and not everyone is your benefactor. Fans of fantasy/romance and YA fantasy do not miss out on a fantastic novel that is guaranteed to take you on an enchanted journey that you will not be able to forget.

Overall Rating: 8/10


GIVEAWAY:

It’s time for that Giveaway! There are 3 fabulous prizes up for grabs and all you need to do is enter here:giveaway for the starchild

1st Prize – Book boyfriend bag
2nd Prize –The Star Catcher playlist on iTunes
3rd Prize – New swag pack
Good luck to all and don’t miss out on this fantastic  opportunity!

If you would like to find out more about the lovely Stephanie Keyes, you can do so in the following places:

Website  –  Facebook  –  Twitter  –  Pinterest  –  Goodreads

Thank you for stopping by today! Next up on the The Star Child blog tour is Reviewed the Book. Do make sure to stop by at the rest of the blog tour stops as well! Have a lovely week! 🙂

The Star Child Blog Tour  FINAL BANNER