Monday, 20 March 2017

Back to Life, Back to Reality

From last week's book haul post, you've gathered that I'm back! But where did I go, you ask? Well, my husband and I were in Bangladesh during February. Why Bangladesh? Because that's where we were born, where my husband's parents and little sister live, where he lived until he moved to the UK in April 2011. Although his elder brother and sister and their family live in London (not to mention loads of his cousins), my husband missed his mum and dad, as well as his beloved younger sister, a lot.

So we finally got our acts together and went to visit them.

I was really nervous about the trip. It was the first time I'd be meeting my mother- and father-in-law in person (we've spoken on the phone and FaceTime'd loads of times since we got married in December 2012) and I was worried about whether or not we'd get along and feel like we were part of each other's family.

After all, a month is not a long time at all.

Luckily, the awkwardness I'd expected was non-existent and it simply felt like I was seeing my in-laws after a long time, rather than for the first time. Everyone was so nice and warm and friendly and took great care of us. My mother-in-law fed us so much food that my husband's jeans became really tight and I went up three dress sizes. Eeek! But everything tasted so good. The fish, chicken, the seasonal vegetables were so fresh and fragrant that it was hard to resist. Though it wasn't the season for mangoes and jack-fruits, the two fruits that Bangladeshis love, we did get to eat the fruits that were available during the winter.

Winter for Bangladesh, that is.

For us, it felt hot. Felt like summer. British summer. Not too hot, not uncomfortable, but the kind of hot that made you feel like you were on holiday. It was lovely. Always sunny and bright and fresh. It was the best time of year, I felt, to be visiting the country. Towards the end of our stay, we even got to see the year's first rainfall. Yes. The first time it rained in Bangladesh, according to the people we hung out with, was in February. End of February. Can you imagine that? No rain or gloom for almost two whole months of the year.

Wow.

Apart from over-eating at home, we tried a few restaurants (and they were okay. We tried the Burger King in Dhaka, which wasn't as good as the one in Turkey, and the Pizza Hut in Sylhet was more or less fine, actually. We didn't try the KFC; I'm not a huge fan of that fast-food place in London, so I wasn't going to try the Bangladeshi version!) and visited relatives and ate with them. I preferred the home-cooked food, but the people there preferred the food served in the outside eateries. To them, restaurants serving rice and curry (i.e. Indian restaurants) was much better than the cuisine rustled up at home in their wood-fired stoves. To me, the food in the restaurants there tasted like the food we cook up here in the UK for special occasions and didn't impress me.

But the food was so cheap that I didn't complain about the lack of 'wow-factor'.

In the capital, Dhaka, there was so much hustle-and-bustle, dust, traffic, noise pollution, i.e. drivers honking their horns more than they took breaths. Yes, in Bangladesh, they don't signal, they honk their horns to let you know they're behind you, or trying to overtake you, or driving beside you. Or anything, really.

In the rural areas, in the village where we lived, it was so much more peaceful and relaxed.

I noticed that people preferred to make the effort and take the time to get things right rather than take short-cuts, whether it was making a cup of tea or washing their clothes. Whereas in the western world, we're always looking to make life easier, buying the latest gadgets to make life simpler and get things done quicker, the people over there didn't mind taking 30 minutes to brew tea over a wood-fired stove even though they had a brand spanking new electric kettle which we took to replace their old one. Although there was a gas stove, my mother-in-law preferred to cook over a wood-fed fire, even if it meant it took longer and was tricky to control the heat.

"It tastes better this way," she'd say. "And I'm used to it."

It was a wonderful holiday but I'm glad to be back in London. This is my world, as things stand, though I can see myself make Bangladesh my world in the future. I have loads to do this year, from returning to regular blogging, to writing my books, reading the many novels on my TBR and discovering new ones. Not to mention losing the extra kilos I gained overseas! I also have a little surprise lined up for my readers, so watch this space...


View from our house:




 



























The local primary school, the one attended by my husband and where my mother-in-law taught for a number of years before becoming the headmistress at a nearby school:
 










Thank you for reading this post. If you're interested in my debut novel, click the image below to learn more about it:
 


Like all my other books, it's also available on:
iBooks   |   B&N Nook   |   Kobo |   Smashwords 


Book Details

Length: 110,000 words
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Clean Romance / Diverse Romance / Interracial Romance / Romantic Drama / Women’s Fiction

Mood: Inspirational / Feel Good / Coming of Age / Dark
Content: Sexy but No explicit sex scenes / No erotica
Audience: New Adult & College / Adult / Female Readers

Recommended for: Readers that enjoy romance novels with serious issues and characters with depth. This is a story about life, love, friendship, family, music, art, destiny and soul mates.


And the first two books in my urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, the Poison Blood series, can be downloaded for free via:

Amazon USAmazon UK|   iBooks US & UK   |   B&N Nook Store   |   Smashwords



PB1 Book Details

Length: 29,000 words
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Vampire Romance / Paranormal Fantasy / Urban Fantasy / Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mood: Dark / Humorous / Coming of age
Content: No violence / No explicit sex scenes / No erotica
Audience: Teen / Young Adult / New Adult / Adult
Recommended for: Readers that love all things vampires, slayers and witches!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

March #BookHaul / TBR

Okay, this is not a proper 'book haul' but the title of this post is in honour of my obsession with BookTube (I love all things books, and since I don't have anyone with whom I can discuss books, of course I love watching others do it on YouTube!).



Although I've become rather good at updating my Goodreads profile with the books I'm currently reading/have read/wish to read, I don't really talk about it on my blog (apart from a yearly round-up of my favourite reads of the year, which I've done for 2015 and 2016), so I thought I'd share with you the books I plan to read at the start each month (ish) and then do a wrap-up at the end of each month (ish) to tell you what I thought of them.

So without further ado, these are the books in my March 'book haul' (click on the cover image to learn more about the books):

First up is Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices Book 1) 

 

It's the prequel series to the bestselling Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, which I read last year. A lot of readers prefer the Infernal Devices series as opposed to the Mortal Instruments, so I am eager to dig into this teen/YA paranormal romance series.


Next, another teen/YA romance, but a contemporary: Anna and the French Kiss 

 

I've seen this book in my local library for some time now, but the cover wasn't something that screamed out, Read me, read me! to me, so I avoided it. But this author and this book come highly recommended by one of my favourite BookTubers, so I picked it up to see if it lived up to the hype.

2016 was a year where I'd cut down on reading crime and mystery/thriller novels, but I've been suffering withdrawal symptoms. So, who better than my favourite crime writer Harland Coben to help me get back into this genre with Fool Me Once?














In terms of e-books, I'm currently reading Shearwater by D.S. Murphy 

I read the beginning of this novel a while ago (the full novel hadn't been written or published yet) and have been eagerly awaiting this complete book.






















Sitting on my physical bookshelf at home, for a while now, are I Am Pilgrim and The Bone Clocks, so I hope to be able get around to reading them this month. Or next month, or the next... That's the thing about the books I've purchased or downloaded on my Kindle or iPhone, I know they're there and I can read them whenever I want, whereas with the books I get from the library have to be returned within three weeks, and there's an urgency about reading them before I have to part with them.

 

I'll post a March Wrap-Up post at the end of the month or the beginning of April, to let you know my thoughts on these reads.

Thank you for reading this post. If you're interested in my debut novel, click the image below to learn more about it:
 


Like all my other books, it's also available on:
iBooks   |   B&N Nook   |   Kobo |   Smashwords 


Book Details

Length: 110,000 words
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Clean Romance / Diverse Romance / Interracial Romance / Romantic Drama / Women’s Fiction

Mood: Inspirational / Feel Good / Coming of Age / Dark
Content: Sexy but No explicit sex scenes / No erotica
Audience: New Adult & College / Adult / Female Readers

Recommended for: Readers that enjoy romance novels with serious issues and characters with depth. This is a story about life, love, friendship, family, music, art, destiny and soul mates.


And the first two books in my urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, the Poison Blood series, can be downloaded for free via:

Amazon USAmazon UK|   iBooks US & UK   |   B&N Nook Store   |   Smashwords



PB1 Book Details

Length: 29,000 words
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Vampire Romance / Paranormal Fantasy / Urban Fantasy / Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mood: Dark / Humorous / Coming of age
Content: No violence / No explicit sex scenes / No erotica
Audience: Teen / Young Adult / New Adult / Adult
Recommended for: Readers that love all things vampires, slayers and witches!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Hello and Thanks for dropping by :)

Thank you for dropping by! I'm out of the country in February, with little or no internet access.

I will return to regular blogging in mid-March at the latest.

So, instead of you landing on a post that's a few weeks old, I thought I'd list some of my favourite posts for you to check out while I'm away.

For authors/writers:
I have a group of posts aimed at you, which, if you're viewing the desktop version of this site, you will find them under the 'Posts on Writing & Self-Publishing' section to the right of the screen. For those of you viewing the mobile version of this blog, you can check out these posts by clicking the links below:

Character POV
Character Traits
Timeline
Editing 
Word Count
Book Cover Design
Marketing
Book Reviews


For readers:
I write both contemporary romance and urban fantasy and have two series ready for you to check out. Click the links below if you're interested in learning more about my books:

1. Contemporary Romace:
The Soulmates Saga

Book 1: Chasing Pavements (Currently free to download, with book 2 and 3 discounted too!)
Book 2: Make You Feel My Love
Book 3: Someone Like You






Chasing Pavements Book Details

Length: 110,000 words
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Clean Romance / Diverse Romance / Interracial Romance / Romantic Drama / Women’s Fiction

Mood: Inspirational / Feel Good / Coming of Age / Dark
Content: Sexy but No explicit sex scenes / No erotica
Audience: New Adult & College / Adult / Female Readers

Recommended for: Readers that enjoy romance novels with serious issues and characters with depth. This is a story about life, love, friendship, family, music, art, destiny and soul mates.



2. Urban Fantasy/PNR:
The Poison Blood Series

(First two books in the series are free to download from your favourite e-book store! Books 3 and 4 are down to 99c/99p each, too!)

Poison Blood, Book 1: Revelation
Poison Blood, Book 2: Absolution
Poison Blood, Book 3: Prophecy
Poison Blood, Book 4: Apocalypse






PB1 Book Details

Length: 29,000 words
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Vampire Romance / Paranormal Fantasy / Urban Fantasy / Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mood: Dark / Humorous / Coming of age
Content: No violence / No explicit sex scenes / No erotica
Audience: Teen / Young Adult / New Adult / Adult
Recommended for: Readers that love all things vampires, slayers and witches!



If you'd like to know a little more about me, here are links to some posts I've written on my personal experiences:

When Life Imitates Art ~ An Author's Tale
When Life Becomes Stranger Than Fiction ~ An Author's Tale
Chasing Pavements, Arabian Nights Style ~ An Author's Tale
The Story Behind Chasing Pavements