#ThrowbackThursday ~ Do Not Wash Hands In Plates ~ by @barbtaub #Travel #Memoir #Humour

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

I knew I would enjoy this, having read the hilarious posts on Barb’s blog during her travels. I wasn’t wrong. It’s a quick, but very funny, read at less than 100 pages and was published in January 2016.

My Review

Barb, Janine and Jaya decided to arrange another get together and chose to meet in India. Barb was travelling from Scotland, Janine from Washington DC and Jaya, who lives in India, would meet them at the airport. A recipe for disaster? But no, they hooked up without too many problems. There follows a hilarious account of an Indian trip of a lifetime, which includes delicious food, wonderful attractions, food, temples, more food, Dehli belly, Indian medicines, lots of food and death-defying driving, to spotlight just a few features. You’ll notice food is the most predominant. As Barb explains ‘I was in India, and it could only mean one thing. Soon it would be time to eat again.’

After my life stopped flashing before my eyes, I shared my observation that she was moving briskly in the wrong direction. On a freeway. With oncoming traffic.

‘Of course,’ she explained with complete lack of concern. ‘There’s a traffic jam on our side. But don’t worry – that means on our way back we can go on the right side of the road.’

gobi-paratha14Barb’s crisply detailed, informative and witty commentary brings to life the places, people and cuisine sampled during the trip. The food sounded divine, well, most of it anyway. Perhaps I’d have to pass on the omelet that sent Barb’s tastebuds ‘from innocent bystanders to drive by victims of green chili omelet assault’. But I could quite happily eat my way through a plate of parathas. The traffic sounds horrendous and crossing the road is a feat in itself, but taken completely in their stride by the locals. Everything is observed with a humorous slant, and includes some wonderful photography, which all together made this such a pleasure to read.

If you’re familiar with Barb’s fabulous blog you know you’ll be in for a treat, and if you’re unfamiliar do yourself a favour and get this book. It’s a delightful travelogue recounting the highs, and some lows, of a wonderful trip. I think the Taj Mahal and wild elephants would have been my highlights too.

Book Blurb

Once upon the Land Before Time (or at least before mobile phones), my two best friends and I decided to leave the US from separate locations and meet up in Europe. To everyone’s shock, Janine, Jaya and I pulled it off—mostly because we went to Luxembourg, a country so small the odds in favor of chance street encounters were almost 100%, but also because Jaya was carrying the BS, a blue suitcase so enormous it took up approximately a third of the country’s square footage and was visible on satellite images. We couldn’t possibly miss. 

It took over thirty-five years before—in a combination of optimism and failing memories— we recklessly decided to repeat this feat. Hey, we reasoned, now we’ve got smartphones, better credit ratings, wheeled suitcases, medical insurance, and the ability to drink legally. Just to make it more interesting, this time we chose to meet in India, where the odds against the three of us actually linking up were approximately a bazillion to bupkis.

Despite blizzards, canceled flights, de-icing delays, and an adjacent passenger who had made unfortunate food choices resulting in alarming gastrointestinal events, I arrived in India. The theory was that I would fly in from my home in Scotland, Janine would come from Washington DC, and Jaya would meet up with us at the airport. Nobody who knows any of us thought for a second that this could really occur.

Actual conversation at Passport Control, Mumbai:
Janine: “Well no, I don’t have my friend’s address or phone number. But she’s going to pick me up at the airport. She lives in Gujarat. That’s in India.”
Passport Control: [SO not impressed]

I arrived before Janine. As far as I could tell, the Ahmedabad Airport was staffed by the entire Indian army, each soldier carrying a honking huge gun. I grabbed my suitcase and exited baggage control into India. Noise. Chaos. People, dogs, honking horns, more people. More soldiers. More guns. Dozens of sincere men who called me “Sister” and suggested they could take me anywhere on the planet I might want to go.

No Janine. No Jaya. And, apparently, no way to get back into the airport. After several failed attempts at international texts, I realized I could (at heart-stopping expense) send email to Jaya, who soon confirmed that she was on her way and that it was 3:00AM so I should go back inside. Except there were signs everywhere saying you couldn’t go back in.
“No problem.” Jaya explained that rules in India were more like guidelines. “People in India are very kind. Just ask.”

I’ve been living in the UK where rules are inviolate and graven in stone, so I didn’t believe a word of it. But the soldier at the door listened to my plea and waved his AK-Humongo to usher me back inside. There I found Janine attempting to send email or text. I reminded her neither option was likely for two technologically-challenged, jet-lagged, middle-aged ladies in a foreign country at 3:00AM.

In the end, we wandered over to the door and to our mutual amazement found Jaya waiting for us along with her husband, a hired driver, and a van. Apparently lightning does strike again, because just like thirty-five years earlier, the three of us actually managed to meet up in another continent.

This is the story of three women eating our way across India in search of adventure, elephants, temples, palaces, western toilets, monkeys, the perfect paratha…and the kindness of Indian strangers.

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Tipping Point (Project Renova #1) by Terry Tyler #TuesdayBookBlog #BookReview @TerryTyler4

  • Author: Terry Tyler
  • Kindle Edition
  • Category: Post Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Book Review, Books, Reading

‘I didn’t know danger was floating behind us on the breeze as we walked along the beach, seeping in through the windows of our picture postcard life.’

The year is 2024. A new social networking site bursts onto the scene. Private Life promises total privacy, with freebies and financial incentives for all. Across the world, a record number of users sign up.

Vicky Keating lived in the house of her dreams in the seaside town of Shipden on the Norfolk coast, with her daughter, Lottie, and partner, Dex. The story is set in the near future when ‘privacy’ on social media is fast becoming a contentious issue, and huge numbers of people are closing down accounts and deleting profiles – until a new, supposedly completely safe social networking site takes the world by storm.  Continue reading

The Last Flight: A Novel by Gregory P Liefer #AudiobookReview #Survival #Suspense

  • Audiobook Review
  • Author: Gregory P Liefer
  • Performed by RC Bray
  • Released: June 2017 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Survival, Suspense, Audiobook, Review, Action, Adventure, Reading, Books

Set against the harsh beauty of Alaska, a veteran helicopter pilot is torn between ending his own embattled life and rescuing survivors from a mountain plane crash.

The Last Flight is the story of Gil Connor, a middle-aged Vietnam veteran and Army helicopter pilot. His exploits are almost legendary amongst his peers but Gil is now fighting a losing battle against terminal cancer. His dreams are haunted by the horrors he’s witnessed and friends lost in battle, not to mention coming to terms with the loss of both his children. Gil has decided to die as he has lived, on his own terms, and takes a helicopter out for a last flight. Continue reading

#Spotlight & #Extract ~ An American Cage by Ted Galdi #SundayBlogShare

Ted Galdi entered the world of novel writing with the publication of bestselling Elixir, winner of a Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award and a Silver Medal in the Readers’ Favourite Book Awards.

He’s a graduate of Duke University, a major in Political Science with a Certificate of Achievement in Film, Video, and Digital Media Studies. After college, Ted co-founded a software company.

He recently completed his second novel, An American Cage, to be released Fall 2017. View the book trailer and opening-chapter preview now.

Ted has been featured by ABC and FOX television, iHeart Radio, Examiner, and many other media outlets. Check out his interviews if you’d like. Continue reading

Oath Breaker by Shelley Wilson #YoungAdult #Fantasy @ShelleyWilson72 #FridayReads

  • Author: Shelley Wilson
  • Published: June 2017 by BHC Press/H2O
  • Category: Young Adult, Fantasy, Werewolf, Book Review, Books, Reading

Will she follow the pack… 

Or will she destroy them? 

A dead mother. 

A violent father. 

A missing brother.

When Mia’s father is murdered, it’s her estranged uncle that comes to the rescue, but what he offers her in return for his help could be worse than the life she is leaving behind.

A compelling opening scene finds sixteen year old Mia witness to the violent death of her abusive father at the hands, or should I say fangs, of a werewolf. With no immediate family to look after her, she is taken in by her uncle, Sebastian Roberts, who runs Hood Academy, a boarding school for gifted girls. Girls who are being taught to hunt werewolves. Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday ~ Playing With Fire by @tessgerritsen #Historical #Contemporary #Audiobook

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

This was my first Tess Gerritsen book and I enjoyed it very much. It was released as an audiobook in 2015 and performed brilliantly by Julia Whalen and Will Damron.  Continue reading

Beneath the Ashes (DI Will Jackman #2) by Jane Isaac #BookReview #Crime @JaneIsaacAuthor

  • Author: Jane Isaac
  • Published: November 2016 by Legend Press
  • Category; Police Procedural, Crime, Suspense, Book Review, Books, Reading

The floor felt hard beneath her face. Nancy opened her eyes. Blinked several times. A pain seared through her head. She could feel fluid. No. She was lying in fluid.

When a body is discovered in a burnt-out barn in the Warwickshire countryside, DI Will Jackman is called to investigate.

DI Will Jackman is called to the remains of a burnt out barn, appearing initially as a straightforward case of arson. Until a  burned body is discovered. When Will calls at the nearest farmhouse to speak to the owners of the barn, he finds a confused and injured young woman. Nancy Faraday is in a relationship with the manager of the farm, Evan Baker, and the owners are abroad. Nancy can’t remember anything after spending the evening in the pub with Evan, or why she woke up on the kitchen floor amid shards of glass from the shattered back door. Continue reading

For the Love of Grace ~ Andy Blackman #Extract @gilbster1000 #Blogival #TuesdayBookBlog

Grace Backer had a life full of tragedy. But despite everything, she raised her son, Tom, with her secret intact. Tom is a prodigal child, destined to escape the slums of the East End of London for a better life; circumstances will make him flee his loving mother and their home much sooner than expected. Tom starts a new life in Odessa, Russia, and with the help of new-found friends starts a business. At last, he is finally accepted into a new and loving family, but one which holds its own dark secrets. A chance meeting with the son of a duke of the realm leads to close friendship and a new business partnership. When Tom decides to move his company to London and have his regal new friend run it, the firm thrives. However, not everything is as it seems, and Tom?s business soon conceals dangerous secrets of its own. Years later, when Tom finally decides to return to London, he is a wanted man, one hunted by the intelligence agencies. If he is finally to be reunited with his beloved mother and his best friend, he must fight to put the past behind him. But keeping secrets is never easy.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | B&N Continue reading

Ryan Kaine: On the Run by @KerryJDonovan #BookReview for #RBRT #FridayReads

  • Author: Kerry J Donovan
  • Published: May 2017 by Human Vertex Publications
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Book Review, Books, Reading

A passenger plane explodes. Eighty-three people die. One man is responsible.

When an apparently routine operation ends in tragedy, decorated ex-Royal Marine, Ryan Kaine, becomes the target of a nationwide manhunt. The police want him on terrorism charges, and a sinister organisation wants him dead. 

Former Royal Marine Captain Ryan Kaine, six miles out to sea in a fishing boat, believes he’s shot down the unmanned drone as per his contract to destroy it, but then he realises the weapon he’d used seems to be on a countdown. With no time to process what was happening he heaved the weapon overboard. As explosions rocked the boat violently he knew his only choice was to swim for his life, before the boat sank and he was caught in the undertow.  Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday ~ Maelstrom by @FrancisGuenette #Suspense #Thriller

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

This week I’ve chosen Maelstrom by Francis Guenette for my Throwback Thursday post. It was published in November 2015 and was a 5* read. Continue reading