#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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#Interview & #Extract ~ Miles of Files by Michael J Sahno @MikeSahno #FridayReads #Humour #Thriller

Welcome, Mike. First of all, please introduce yourself and tell us what you like to do when not writing.

I began writing at a very early age, and eventually went on to study English and American literature in the university setting. I got a Master of Arts in English from Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY at the age of 24, and went on to become a full-time professional writer in 2001. When I’m not writing, I love to get into the other areas of the arts: concerts, visual arts, and so on. To to stay healthy, I run and work out. 

What was your inspiration for Miles of Files?

In Miles of Files, a young man find out that his boss is stealing from the company retirement plan, but not in a traditional embezzlement: he’s actually created these fake employee files, to make it look like he’s paying out benefits to former employees. The germ of the story is based loosely on an experience of my own: I once worked for a company that “froze” the company retirement plan for a year, so no one could take funds out or even put funds in. That was an unnerving experience. Continue reading

Guest Post by Robert Germaux @RGermaux #Author of Grammar Sex and Other Stuff #Giveaway @ebookreviewgal

Welcome to this blog tour stop for Grammar Sex (and other stuff) We have a guest post from the author, Robert Germaux and a chance to win a copy of the book.

“Davy Crockett, Jesus and The Beatles”

By Robert Germaux

I’ve always loved to sing, and when I was younger, my voice was good enough that I sang in both my church and school choirs. The main memories I have of my church singing are of two very different situations. For two or three years when I was around ten or eleven, I soloed in front of the congregation on Easter Sunday, singing There is a Green Hill Far Away. I didn’t particularly enjoy those performances, mostly because I didn’t like the heavy robe everyone in the choir had to wear. However, my other church-singing experience involved an entirely different ensemble, one that I definitely enjoyed wearing. When I was nine years old, our church held a father and son banquet, and I got up and sang The Ballad of Davy Crockett. I went full frontiersman on that occasion, including, of course, the coonskin cap. A couple of my siblings claim to be in possession of photographic evidence of that event, which explains why I’ve played the role of victim in a number of family blackmail schemes over the years. Continue reading

Guest Post from #author Pasha Adam @ThePashaAdam #Humour #MondayBlogs

I’m delighted to welcome Pasha Adam with his guest post….

A 12 Step Guide for Turning a Bad Day into a Bouncing Baby Book (or Screenplay)

By Pasha Adam

For reasons I don’t fully understand but have always explained away with a God complex, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Since I was fifteen, I’ve attended screenwriting expos, read writing books, listened to writers’ commentaries and podcasts. But I was never really happy with the stuff I was writing. 

And then, two years ago, that all changed. I started approaching writing in a way specific to me. The ideas started to flow and I began churning things out. Since then, I’ve completed two novels, a handful of screenplays, and am in the process of redrafting another two manuscripts.  Continue reading

Madam Tulip (Madam Tulip Mysteries #1) by David Ahern reviewed for #RBRT Actress turned fortune teller

  • 29769343Author: David Ahern
  • Published: April 2016 by Malin Press
  • Category: Crime, Mystery, Humour
  • four-half-stars

Out-of-work actress Derry O’Donnell is young, talented, a teeny bit psychic … and broke. Spurred on by an ultimatum from her awesomely high-achieving mother, and with a little help from her theatrical friends, Derry embarks on a part-time career as Madame Tulip, fortune-teller to the rich and famous.

Derry O’Donnell, sometime actress, latterly of Trinity College, Dublin, from where she graduated summa cum laude in Theatre Arts, has been broke and, more often than not, unemployed for the last five years. A job offer from her mother, as a PR for her art gallery, and an ultimatum regarding her rent, prompts Derry to seriously consider her best friend, Bella’s idea of using her fortune-telling talents, she’s the only daughter of the seventh son of a seventh son, to top up her non-existent bank balance. And so Madam Tulip is born.  Continue reading

Gamer Girl by @GlynisAstie ~ #Romance and #Fantasy combined with #humour #TuesdayBookBlog

  • Gamer Girl OfficialAuthor: Glynis Astie
  • Published: May 2016 by Tikinou Publishing
  • Category: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Humour
  • four-half-stars

Struck by tragedy at an early age, Meri Palmer escaped into the only world she understood. Within the virtual realm of online gaming, she lived a life filled with mythical creatures and thrilling adventures, where she was strong, powerful, clever, and beautiful—everything she believed she wasn’t in real life. As the years went by, her desire to cling to her cherished fantasyland only grew stronger.

Meri Palmer loves her job developing video games, having inherited a love of Disney and role-playing games from her parents. She escapes whenever she can into her fantasy life in a virtual world as Pix, the fairy warrior, much preferring that to dealing with reality and real people. It’s her way of hiding from the insecurity and sorrow resulting from the tragedy of her parents’ deaths when she was just a child. Pix is everything Meri believes she is not – brave, strong and a fighter. Continue reading

Murphy’s Other Laws

😀 😀

Grumpa Joe's Place

Usually, we blame Murphy’s Law on any thing that goes wrong when it shouldn’t have. Here are a few more of his law’s that are less known.

murphys-law-anything-that-can-go-wrong-will-go-wrong-1-638.jpg

MURPHY’S OTHER 15 LAWS

1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

2. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

3. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.

4. A day without sunshine is like, well, night.

5. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

6. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don’t.

7. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

8. The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there’s a 90% probability you’ll get it wrong.

9. It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world…

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

  • PlatesAuthor: Barb Taub
  • Photography: Jayalakshmi Ayyer/Janine Smith
  • Category: Travel, Memoir, Humour
  • five-stars

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.

Jpeg

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.’ Continue reading

New Release! Do Not Wash Hands in Plates #Travel #humor #India

This will be a hoot – just downloaded my copy.

Barb Taub

Do Not Wash Hands In Plates: Elephant frenzy, parathas, temples, palaces, monkeys…and the kindness of Indian strangers

–Text by Barb Taub, Photographs by Jayalakshmi Ayyer and Janine Smith

DO NOT WASH HANDS IN PLATES

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.

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…

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Lost And Found ~ A Daisy Dunlop Mystery #2

  • Lost&FoundAuthor: J.L. Simpson
  • Published: April 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Crime, Mystery, Suspense
  • four-half-stars

Hot on the success of her first case, Daisy Dunlop can count the offers of work on one finger. An empty bank account and the need to prove to her business partner, PI Solomon Liffey, that she is an asset not a liability, calls for drastic measures. Terror has to be overcome as she answers a plea to find the one thing that gives her night sweats and flashbacks. A dog. A missing stud poodle to be exact.

After having tried numerous career options Daisy Dunlop is working with her husband’s best friend, Irish PI Solomon Liffey with strict instructions from Paul to keep Daisy safe. Which is much easier said than done, as Solomon finds out to his cost. Daisy can be somewhat of a liability. Strong willed and impulsive, but extremely likeable, she forges ahead regardless and Solomon has his work cut out to keep his promise to Paul.

Daisy’s heir hunting job offers are sadly lacking so she has to content herself with helping Solomon out with a case, which unfortunately necessitates sessions at the gym. In lycra. Daisy is far from overjoyed and is thankful to receive a letter from a Candy Mars asking her to investigate the disappearance of her prize-winning poodle. There’s only one problem; Daisy is terrified of dogs. She enlists the help of Cliff Richards, a homeless man who has a way with animals, and who helped her out during her previous case.

Solomon held out his hand to Cliff. “Nice to meet you, Cliff. And good luck. You’ll be needing to keep your wits about you, if you’re working with Daisy.”

Cliff shook his hand, and frowned. “Is looking for a missing dog dangerous?”

“No idea mate, but working with Daisy is always challenging.”

Solomon’s troubles are only just beginning though, as he gets a call telling him his ex, Lisa, is in police custody for drug dealing and his three-year old daughter, Molly, is at the police station. When a dead body found at Lisa’s flat points to a connection with Daisy’s missing dog, Solomon and Daisy join forces in solving another fast paced case filled with action, danger, suspense and a lot of laughs.

Another character driven and fun escapade with Daisy, our unconventional heroine, and the ever mysterious and sexy Solomon as he strives to keep Daisy out of trouble and Molly safe, while trying to find the connections linking their respective cases. Does the answer lie in Solomon’s still secretive past? The narrative moves along at a cracking pace and the crime and suspense aspect is balanced out by the humour, wit and great banter between the main characters.

My thanks to J.L. Simpson for sending me a copy in return for an honest review.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

About the author

JLSimpsonDiminutive English rose, JL Simpson, was stolen away by a giant nomad and replanted in a southern land filled with gum trees and kangaroos. She quickly adapted to her new life, learning the meaning of G’day and mate whilst steadfastly refusing all attempts to convert her to Vegemite.
A hunger for exploration awoken by her new surroundings, she traversed the land seeking knowledge and adventure. Despite the trials and tribulations along the way she stood fearless in the face of calamity and embarrassment. With a joyous laugh, and a boundless supply of scones with cream and jam, she stood tall, all fifty-eight inches of her, and shrugged off the humiliation of falling in a freezer and reversing into her own mailbox.
Always ready to accept a challenge she embraced the double headed beast of accounting and taxation and wrestled the monster into submission, placating it with spreadsheets and double entry bookkeeping.
Her desire to experience the world led her to embrace a life of crime. Seeking the higher knowledge shared by the great minds of the detective world, she took to worshipping at the altars of the Crime and Investigation channel and Sherlock.
A dive into family history and heir hunting soon followed, where she discovered not every family has roots back to English nobility but they all have their fair share of ne’er-do-wells.
She loves sharing tales about the land of her birth along with the unexpected twists of fate that can befall all of us. Holding on to a steadfast belief every obstacle can be overcome, and that you can be more than you ever expected, she spends her moments of solitude creating adventures where mystery and mayhem collide.

Author links ~ Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads