Tag Archives: contemporary

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal. Review 

I can’t say why this book appealed to me other than to say that the title really intrigued me. Two words that in the Western world we would never associate with one another ‘erotic’ and ‘Punjabi’. I guess that’s because our little knowledge of other cultures sees anyone who is religious as being strict, conservative and definitely not about to write erotic stories! And that’s exactly what Nikki thinks too. Nikki is a young Punjabi woman born and raised in London as an East-West mix. Nikki is a member of feminist groups, she doesn’t believe in the culture of her religion which she sees as binding, controlling and far too conservative for the modern woman. Certainly she isn’t happy when her sister Mindi asks her to post her profile on the marriage board of the temple in Southall. Nikki doesn’t want her sister to have an arranged marriage, something she certainly couldn’t imagine herself. 


But while she is at the temple, Nikki sees an advertisement to teach storytelling to lonely widows in the community and is excited by the prospect. Currently working in a bar after quitting her law degree she has been at a loose end and is unsure where to go or what to do next. But her plans to teach the Widows English reading and writing goes astray when they have other ideas about what stories to tell. 


I really enjoyed this novel. The story was for the most part light, and enjoyable but there was also a dark undertone. The suppression of women in certain cultures. Murder, bullying, hatred, racism and fear. But it was not an unhappy novel despite these undertones. Instead what we see is women brought to life by stories, gaining their freedom, enriching their lives and rising from surpression. I think for people who have grown up in a completely western world, who may possibly have a lack of understanding of other cultures this book provides an interesting and different perspective, to gain understanding that people are people no matter where they come from, the religion they follow and certainly not the colour of their skin. 

The story is funny, honest, bright and leaves you with a sense that justice has been served. 

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Review. 

A Monster Calls is a short low fantasy novel by Patrick Ness, based on an original idea by Siobhan O’Dowd. Sadly Siobhan herself died of cancer before she could write the book. 

I’d actually seen the movie of this book before I read it so I had an idea of what happened and the sad theme. Connor is a young boy, 13 years old and his mother is dying, as he tries to deal with her imminent death, he is visited by a Monster who tries to teach him about things. 

‘There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.’


This novel is so real, it explores an extremely sensitive subject as seen through the eyes of a 13 year old boy who doesn’t know how to deal with his feelings about his mother’s illness. It is raw, tragic, and moving. 


For a children’s book it is extremely well written, passionate, heart rendering and most of all, honest. And that’s what it is really, a book about honesty and truth, the truth that’s deep inside us and which we don’t ever want to admit. 

Behind Closed Doors by Kathryn Croft. Review. 

I want to say initially that having seen some of the really bad reviews of this book on Goodreads, I really cannot understand them. I get that everyone’s entitled to their opinions but it’s really lost on me, how, if you’re a fan of psychological thrillers you couldn’t enjoy this book. 

Now that’s out of the way, I want to say a little something about Kathryn Croft. I was first introduced to her when I read her novel While You Were Sleeping last year. Kathryn started out as a self published author but was soon snapped up by publishers Bookouture, and there’s a reason for that. Kathryn is a really good author and writes fantastic psychological thrillers. She’s also a really great person and you can read my interview with her here: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/author-interview-kathryn-croft/

As well as my positive reviews of the other two novels I’ve read by her here: 

While You Were Sleeping: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2016/11/22/while-you-were-sleeping-by-kathryn-croft-review/

The Stranger Within: https://lifehasafunnywayofsneakinguponyou.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/the-stranger-within-by-kathyrn-croft-review/

Now, Behind Closed Doors is one of the novels Kathryn wrote as a self published author which means she wrote, edited and marketed that book herself. Which frankly to me makes it even more amazing! I really enjoyed it start to finish and couldn’t put it down! 


Olivia has just got divorced from her husband and moved into a flat with her 10 year old daughter Ellie. Soon after moving in, she befriends and becomes close to their upstairs neighbour Michael. But things start going downhill from there, Michael can be a little strange at times and Ellie hates his sister Chloe. To top it off, Olivia is having to deal with an ex-husband who doesn’t want to let her go, and now she’s got a stalker as well. As things start to get even weirder, Olivia doesn’t know where to turn or who she can trust anymore. Who is really out to get her? 


This novel was a real page turner. What baffled me most was that a lot of previous reviewers said the ending was obvious. I simply cannot agree, there were plenty of red herrings thrown in and just like our first person narrator Olivia, I didn’t have a clue who to trust, no sooner did I think I’d worked it out, I became suspicious of someone else. I did start to work out who it was eventually but not until about 95% of the way through, and even then I wasn’t expecting that ending! I’m still reeling and pretty certain I’ll have a book hangover for a few days while I try and process that! 

Well done Kathryn on another suspenseful, psychological thriller! 

Her Last Tomorrow by Adam Croft. Review

This book has been on my TBR for ages after I read a piece about the author in Writer’s Mag. Her Last Tomorrow has an intriguing premise; would you kill your wife to save your daughter? 

Nick and Tasha’s lives fall apart when their 5 year old daughter Ellie disappears one morning. Then Nick receives an email ‘kill your wife if you want your daughter back.’ 


The premise was really clever, the kidnapper was a complete surprise and the novel was written well. It was certainly gripping as the reader wonders what will happen next, what will Nick decide, will he kill his wife? Will he get his daughter back? 

The only thing that bothered me about this novel was that I couldn’t really connect with either of the main characters who were both very self-centred and didn’t really come across as that bothered that their daughter had gone missing. I also found parts of it very unrealistic. 

But overall I enjoyed it, it did have a great psychological twist and was very fast paced. 

Launching a New Book Product! 

Hi everyone, thanks for visiting my blog again! 
Just a quick post from me today to say that after a long time thinking about it I’ve decided to go ahead and launch my own book related product!! It’s really exciting but before I can proceed I need to do some research into what my potential customers would like to see and the sort of cost they would expect to pay. Subsequently I’d really appreciate it if you could take 2 minutes to take my survey 
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KR7XVQV

July Wrap Up 2017 

I read 25 books this month and in the fashion of Kristin at Kristin Kraves Books I’m going to give the total pages as well: 7,736 

So here goes! I’ll not go into descriptions as there’s just too many! But I’ll give a sentence or two for each. 


Frostblood & Fireblood by Elly Blake. There are two types of people here those that fight with frost and those who fight with fire. There’s action romance and plenty of wit! 


The Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson. I read these as a child and they were just as good now! The Manth people combat different evils in the search for thei home land. Dystopian. 


The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black. 3 children are drawn into a magical world unseen by everyone else and battle ogres and goblins to save the world. 


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Girl travels back in time to 18th century Scotland where she embarks on an adventure with a hunky, kilt wearing Scotsman. 


The Break by Marian Keyes. Relationship breaks down when husband goes on a break, cue Marian’s unique style of humour. 


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. The loneliest girl in the world learns how to make friends. 


The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks. Boy puts things in a magic cupboard and they come to life! 


Final Girls by Riley Sager, girl survives murder only to be targeted by another killer. 


The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson Girl goes missing and comes back years later, is it really her though? 


Rusticles by Rebecca Gransden beautifully put together short stories with phantasmagoric themes. 


The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz. Author gets installed in his own story and becomes embroiled in a murder mystery. 


Victoria by Daisy Goodwin the tale of one of the great monarchs of the 20th century. 


The Friend by Dorothy Koomson a woman is embroiled into a mystery around an attempted murder and poisonous friendships. 


The Overneath by Peter S Beagle a gorgeous collection of short stories from the author of The Last Unicorn. 


Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. A woman and her family on the run become the target of a murderer. 


Storm Front by Jim Butcher a series about a wizard detective. 


Friend Request by Laura Marshall a woman becomes the victim of a stalker who appears to be an old friend who died at school. 


House of Shadows by Nicola Cormick. After the disappearance of her brother a woman finds herself embroiled in a historical mystery, a time slip between present day and Stuart England.

July Book Haul 

Where has this month gone?? Not a huge one this month and it’s going to be getting much smaller as I’m trying to read the books I have before I buy anymore, we’ll see if I stick to that though! 

So here we go! I hauled 27 books this month including ARCs. 


The Friend by Dorothy Koomson 


The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz 


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 


Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo 


Frostblood by Elly Blake 


Fireblood by Elly Blake 


The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid 

Final Girls by Riley Sager 


Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine 


Friend Request by Laura Marshall 


The Break by Marian Keyes 


The Overneath by Peter S Beagle 


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman 


Gilded Cage by Vic James 


All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris 


Orphan Sisters by Lola Jaye 


Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon 


My Not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella 


Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare 


The Woman in Black by Susan Hill 


Above Suspicion by Lynda La Plante 


Good Friday by Lynda La Plante 


Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris 


Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas 


Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas