Genre: Non Fiction

#BookReview Unapologetically Ambitious by Shellye Archambeau @GrandCentralPub #UnapologeticallyAmbitious #ShellyeArchambeau #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Unapologetically Ambitious by Shellye Archambeau @GrandCentralPub #UnapologeticallyAmbitious #ShellyeArchambeau #GrandCentralPub Title: Unapologetically Ambitious

Author: Shellye Archambeau

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Oct. 6, 2020

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 10/10

Full of empowering wisdom from one of Silicon Valley’s first female African American CEOs, this inspiring leadership book for readers of Dare to Lead and Start with Why offers a blueprint for how to achieve your personal and professional goals, drawn from the author’s own compelling story of how she weathered life’s difficulties to build massive success.

Shellye Archambeau recounts how she overcame the challenges she faced as a young black woman, wife, and mother, managing her personal and professional responsibilities while climbing the ranks at IBM and subsequently in her roles as CEO. Through the busts and booms of Silicon Valley in the early 2000s, this bold and inspiring book details the risks she took and the strategies she engaged to steer her family, her career, and her company MetricStream toward success.

Through her journey, Shellye discovered that ambition alone is not enough to achieve success. Here, she shares the practical strategies, tools, and approaches readers can employ right now, including concrete steps to most effectively:

  • Dismantle impostor syndrome
  • Capitalize on the power of planning
  • Take risks
  • Developing financial literacy
  • Build your network
  • Establish your reputation
  • Take charge of your career
  • Integrate work, marriage, parenthood, and self-care

Each chapter lays out key takeaways and actions to increase the odds of achieving your personal and professional goals. With relatable personal stories that ground her advice in the real world and a foreword by leading venture capitalist and New York Times bestselling author Ben Horowitz, Unapologetically Ambitious invites readers to move beyond the solely supportive roles others expect them to fill, to learn how to carefully tread the thin line between assertive and aggressive, and to give themselves permission to strive for the top. Make no apologies for the height of your ambitions. Shellye Archambeau will show you how.


Review:

Fascinating, timely, and inspiring!

Unapologetically Ambitious is the informative, intriguing story of Shellye Archambeau’s life, including her professional experiences, struggles, successes, and accomplishments as a university student, employee, wife, mother, and CEO.

The writing is clear and precise. The characters are intelligent, driven, and relatable. And the novel is a compelling, introspective tale of one woman’s life and the planning, strategies, and goals she implemented and continues to execute to achieve success and happiness.

Overall, Unapologetically Ambitious is undoubtedly an impressive novel full of valuable, insightful information about making conscious choices, having confidence, and finding success.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                   

 

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Shellye Archambeau

Shellye Archambeau is one of high tech’s first female African American CEOs and has been featured frequently in Forbes, the New York Times, Business Insider, and more. Formerly an executive at IBM and CEO of Blockbuster.com, Archambeau was recruited to be the CEO of a then-struggling Silicon Valley startup, which is now MetricStream, a recognized global leader in governance, risk, and compliance software solutions. She currently serves as a Fortune 500 board member and holds board seats at Verizon, Nordstrom, Roper Technologies, and Okta.

Photograph by Odiwams.

#BookReview We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper @GrandCentralPub #WeKeeptheDeadClose #BeckyCooper #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper @GrandCentralPub #WeKeeptheDeadClose #BeckyCooper #GrandCentralPub Title: We Keep the Dead Close

Author: Becky Cooper

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Nov. 10, 2020

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 501

Format: Hardcover

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8.5/10

You have to remember, he reminded me, that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn’t let you forget.

1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious 23-year-old graduate student in Harvard’s Anthropology Department and daughter of Radcliffe Vice President J. Boyd Britton, would be found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment.

Forty years later, Becky Cooper, a curious undergrad, will hear the first whispers of the story. In the first telling the body was nameless. The story was this: a Harvard student had had an affair with her professor, and the professor had murdered her in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology because she’d threatened to talk about the affair. Though the rumor proves false, the story that unfolds, one that Cooper will follow for ten years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, a “cowboy culture” among empowered male elites, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims.

We Keep the Dead Close is a memoir of mirrors, misogyny, and murder. It is at once a rumination on the violence and oppression that rules our revered institutions, a ghost story reflecting one young woman’s past onto another’s present, and a love story for a girl who was lost to history.


Review:

Candid, descriptive, and informative!

We Keep the Dead Close is the honest, compelling tale of a senseless murder of a young graduate student in Harvard’s Anthropology department, Jane Britton, in early January 1969 and the author’s own thoughts, experiences, revelations, and obsession to unravel what truly happened.

The writing is rich and atmospheric.  And the novel is an extremely well researched, sincere tale of a crime with no quick, straightforward conclusion and one woman’s subsequent, complex, frustrating, neverending battle to find closure for those who loved her.

Overall, We Keep the Dead Close is, ultimately, a sensitive, exhaustive analysis and investigation of a 50-year-old cold case that includes valuable, insightful data into an iconic institution plagued by inequality, prejudice, and violence and a murder investigation riddled for years with gossip, innuendos, rumours, multiple suspects, suspicious actions, and little to no concrete evidence.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                   

 

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Becky Cooper

Becky Cooper is a former New Yorker editorial staff member and Senior Fellow at Brandeis’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Reporting. Her undergraduate thesis, a literary biography of David Foster Wallace, won Harvard’s Hoopes Prize, the highest undergraduate award for research and writing. Research for this book was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists. She is also the author of Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers (Abrams, 2013).

#BookReview Mad & Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency by Bea Koch @GrandCentralPub #BeaKoch #GrandCentralPub

#BookReview Mad & Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency by Bea Koch @GrandCentralPub #BeaKoch #GrandCentralPub Title: Mad & Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency

Author: Bea Koch

Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Sep. 1, 2020

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 262

Format: Paperback

Source: Grand Central Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

Discover a feminist pop history that looks beyond the Ton and Jane Austen to highlight the Regency women who succeeded on their own terms and were largely lost to history — until now.


Regency England is a world immortalized by Jane Austen and Lord Byron in their beloved novels and poems. The popular image of the Regency continues to be mythologized by the hundreds of romance novels set in the period, which focus almost exclusively on wealthy, white, Christian members of the upper classes.
 
But there are hundreds of fascinating women who don’t fit history books limited perception of what was historically accurate for early 19th century England. Women like Dido Elizabeth Belle, whose mother was a slave but was raised by her white father’s family in England, Caroline Herschel, who acted as her brother’s assistant as he hunted the heavens for comets, and ended up discovering eight on her own, Anne Lister, who lived on her own terms with her common-law wife at Shibden Hall, and Judith Montefiore, a Jewish woman who wrote the first English language Kosher cookbook.

As one of the owners of the successful romance-only bookstore The Ripped Bodice, Bea Koch has had a front row seat to controversies surrounding what is accepted as “historically accurate” for the wildly popular Regency period. Following in the popular footsteps of books like Ann Shen’s Bad Girls Throughout History, Koch takes the Regency, one of the most loved and idealized historical time periods and a huge inspiration for American pop culture, and reveals the independent-minded, standard-breaking real historical women who lived life on their terms. She also examines broader questions of culture in chapters that focus on the LGBTQ and Jewish communities, the lives of women of color in the Regency, and women who broke barriers in fields like astronomy and paleontology. In Mad and Bad, we look beyond popular perception of the Regency into the even more vibrant, diverse, and fascinating historical truth.


Review:

Light, insightful, and fun!

Mad & Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency is an informative, intriguing look into the importance and influence of a bold, noteworthy set of women from the regency period on the literature we indulge in and enjoy every day.

The writing is educative and descriptive. The characters are intelligent, independent, and driven. And the novel is a fascinating, enlightening tale about the intricacies of the higher echelons of Regency society and the women who were plucky enough to pave the way for the feminist ideals of today.

Overall, I found Mad & Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency to be a quick, easy, fascinating treat full of facts and illustrations of a group of women who were certainly ahead of their time and without a doubt an inspiration for us all.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                      

 

 

 

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Bea Koch

Bea Koch is one of the owners of The Ripped Bodice, the only independent bookstore in the US dedicated to romance. In addition to being a groundbreaking bookseller, Bea graduated from Yale with distinction as the last Renaissance Studies major and received an MA in Costume History from NYU: Steinhardt. She is the proud mother of dog Fitzwilliam Waffles. He has more followers on Instagram than she does.

Photograph courtesy of Grand Central Publishing Website.

#BookReview The Unexpected Spy by Tracy Walder with Jessica Anya Blau @tracy_walder @JessicaAnyaBlau @StMartinsPress #TheUnexpectedSpy

#BookReview The Unexpected Spy by Tracy Walder with Jessica Anya Blau @tracy_walder @JessicaAnyaBlau @StMartinsPress #TheUnexpectedSpy Title: The Unexpected Spy

Author: Tracy Walder

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Feb. 25, 2020

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A highly entertaining account of a young woman who went straight from her college sorority to the CIA, where she hunted terrorists and WMDs

When Tracy Walder enrolled at the University of Southern California, she never thought that one day she would offer her pink beanbag chair in the Delta Gamma house to a CIA recruiter, or that she’d fly to the Middle East under an alias identity.

The Unexpected Spy is the riveting story of Walder’s tenure in the CIA and, later, the FBI. In high-security, steel-walled rooms in Virginia, Walder watched al-Qaeda members with drones as President Bush looked over her shoulder and CIA Director George Tenet brought her donuts. She tracked chemical terrorists and searched the world for Weapons of Mass Destruction. She created a chemical terror chart that someone in the White House altered to convey information she did not have or believe, leading to the Iraq invasion. Driven to stop terrorism, Walder debriefed terrorists—men who swore they’d never speak to a woman—until they gave her leads. She followed trails through North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, shutting down multiple chemical attacks.

Then Walder moved to the FBI, where she worked in counterintelligence. In a single year, she helped take down one of the most notorious foreign spies ever caught on American soil. Catching the bad guys wasn’t a problem in the FBI, but rampant sexism was. Walder left the FBI to teach young women, encouraging them to find a place in the FBI, CIA, State Department or the Senate—and thus change the world.


Review:

Candid, eye-opening, and inspiring!

The Unexpected Spy is the informative, intriguing story of Tracy Walder’s personal and professional experiences, successes, struggles, and accomplishments as a CIA SOO, FBI Special Agent, and beloved history teacher at an all girl’s school.

The writing is clear and precise. The characters are intelligent, focused, and driven. And the novel is a compelling, fascinating, introspective tale of one woman’s life as a covert operative in the wake of 9/11. 

The Unexpected Spy is, ultimately, part memoir, part spy novel that is full of valuable, insightful information into counterterrorism and the roles and efforts of counterintelligence agencies worldwide.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                      

 

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tracy Walder

Tracy Walder is a former Staff Operations Officer (SOO) at the CIA's Counterterrorism Center and a Special Agent at the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office specializing in Chinese counterintelligence operations and has taught high-school history and government courses at Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. Now Walder is the Board of Directors for Girl Security, a non profit, non partisan group that brings national security curriculum to girls in high school throughout the US.

Photography by Kent Barker Photography.

#BookReview The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg @frumpenberg @HachetteUS @HBGCanada

#BookReview The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg @frumpenberg @HachetteUS @HBGCanada Title: The Third Rainbow Girl

Author: Emma Copley Eisenberg

Published by: Hatchette Books on Jan. 21, 2020

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 7/10

In the afternoon or early evening of June 25, 1980, two young women, Vicki Durian and Nancy Santomero, were killed in an isolated clearing in rural Pocahontas County West Virginia. They were hitchhiking to an outdoor peace festival known as the Rainbow Gathering, but never arrived. Their killings have been called “The Rainbow Murders.”

For thirteen years, no one was prosecuted, though suspicion was cast on a succession of local men. In 1993, the state of West Virginia convicted a local farmer named Jacob Beard and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Later, it emerged that a convicted serial killer and diagnosed schizophrenic named Joseph Paul Franklin had also confessed. With the passage of time, as the truth behind the Rainbow
killings seemed to slip away, its toll on this Appalachian community became more concrete — the unsolved murders were a trauma, experienced on a community scale.

Emma Copley Eisenberg spent five years re-investigating these brutal acts, which once captured the national media’s imagination, only to fall into obscurity. A one-time New Yorker who came to live in Pocahontas Country, Eisenberg shows how that crime, a mysterious act of violence against a pair of middle-class outsiders, came to loom over several generations of struggling Appalachians, many of them
laborers who earned a living farming, hauling timber, cutting locust posts, or baling hay—and the investigators and lawyers for whom the case became a white whale.

Part “Serial”-like investigation, part Joan Didion-like meditation, the book follows the threads of this crime through the history of West Virginia, the Back-to-the-Land movement, and the complex reality contemporary Appalachia, forming a searing portrait of America and its divisions of gender and class, and its violence.


Review:

Honest, descriptive, and informative!

The Third Rainbow Girl is the candid, compelling story detailing the senseless murder of two young women in the woods of West Virginia during the summer of 1980, the subsequent, complex, frustrating, neverending battle for justice, and the author’s own thoughts and experiences of spending time in the area.

The writing is educative and direct.  And the novel is a well researched, sincere tale of a crime with no quick, straightforward conclusion and one woman’s personal struggle to discover a self-identity, contentment, and a sense of purpose.

The Third Rainbow Girl is, ultimately, part memoir, part true crime that includes valuable, insightful data into a state plagued by inequality and low socioeconomic status and a murder investigation riddled with inconsistent statements, retracted confessions, and little to no concrete evidence.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                      

 

 

 

Thank you to HBG Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Emma Copley Eisenberg

Emma Copley Eisenberg is a writer of fiction, and nonfiction. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Paris Review, Tin House, the Virginia Quarterly Review, McSweeney's, The Los Angeles Review of Books, American Short Fiction, Electric Literature Recommended Reading, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, and others.

Her first book, THE THIRD RAINBOW GIRL is forthcoming from Hachette Books in January 2020. She lives in Philadelphia, where she co-directs the literary center Blue Stoop.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Be My Guest by Priya Basil @canongatebooks @PGCBooks

#BookReview Be My Guest by Priya Basil @canongatebooks @PGCBooks Title: Be My Guest

Author: Priya Basil

Published by: Canongate Books Ltd on Nov. 15, 2019

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 128

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

A meditation on the meaning and limits of hospitality today, from the shortlisted author of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

The dinner table, among friends, is where the best conversations take place⁠—talk about the world, religion, politics, culture and cooking. In the same way, Be My Guest is a conversation about all those things, mediated through the medium of shared food.

We live in a world where some have too much and others not enough, where immigrants and refugees are both welcomed and vilified, and where most of us spend less and less time cooking and eating together. Priya Basil invites us to explore the meaning and limits of hospitality today, and in doing so makes a passionate plea for a kinder, more welcoming realization that we have more in common than divides us.


Review:

Eloquent, pensive, and rich!

Be My Guest is a beautifully written, candid story by Basil that explores the power of being hospitable and the diverse customs and traditions that people use around the world to invite, include, accept, nourish, and share with others.

The writing is informative and moving. And the novel is a generous, welcoming tale that delves into the true meaning of hospitality and emphasizes that the dinner table should not only be a place for nourishment but a place for unification regardless of political ideologies, religion, skin colour, or socioeconomic status.

Overall, I would have to say that Be My Guest is, ultimately, a genuine, impassioned, humourous reminder that breaking bread with family, friends, strangers, and even the diverse community at large is not only good for the body and mind but also a conscientious, important salve for the heart and soul.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                   

 

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Priya Basil

Priya grew up in Kenya, returning to the UK to study English Literature at the University of Bristol. She had a career in advertising before becoming a full-time writer. In 2010 Priya, and the journalist Matthias Fredrich-Auf der Horst, initiated Authors for Peace. It is intended to be a platform from which writers can actively use literature in different ways to promote peace. The first event by Authors for Peace took place on 21 September 2010, the UN's International Day of Peace. With the support of the International Literature Festival Berlin, Priya hosted a 24hour-live-online-reading by 80 authors from all over the world. The authors read from their work in a gesture of solidarity with those who are oppressed or caught in conflict. Priya lives in London and Berlin.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Hello I Want to Die by Anna Mehler Paperny @amp6 @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Hello I Want to Die by Anna Mehler Paperny @amp6 @PenguinRandomCA Title: Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me

Author: Anna Mehler Paperny

Published by: Random House Canada on Aug. 6, 2019

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

A vibrant, compelling memoir from a remarkable young woman that bravely reveals the real-life havoc wrought by depression and the urgent search for solutions. Illuminating, completely engaging–it’s essential reading for all since we all know someone whose life, family or friends are touched by the disease that directly afflicts a fifth of Canadians.

In her early twenties, while outwardly thriving in her dream job and enjoying warm familial support and a strong social network, award-winning journalist Anna Mehler Paperny found herself trapped by feelings of failure and despair. Her first suicide attempt–ingesting a deadly mix of sleeping pills and antifreeze–landed her in the ICU, followed by weeks of enforced detention that ran the gamut of horrifying, boring, hilarious, and absurd. This was Anna’s entry into the labyrinthine psychiatric care system responsible for providing care to millions of Canadians.

As she struggled to survive the psych ward and as an outpatient–enduring the “survivor’s” shame of facing concerned family, friends, and co-workers; finding (or not) the right therapist, the right meds; staying healthy, insured, and employed–Anna could not help but turn her demanding journalist’s eye on her condition and on the system in which she found herself. She set off on a quest to “know her enemy,” interviewing leading practitioners in the field across Canada and the US–from psychiatrists to neurological experts, brain-mapping pioneers to heroic family practitioners, and others dabbling in novel hypotheses. She reveals in courageously frank detail her own experiences with the pharmacological pitfalls and side effects of long-term treatment, and offers moving case studies of conversations with others, opening wide a window into how we treat (and fail to treat) the disease that accounts for more years swallowed up by disability than any other in the world.


Review:

Informative, honest, and perceptive!

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me is the first-hand, candid story of Anna Mehler Paperny’s personal, ongoing struggle with suicidal ideation and depression, as well as an in-depth look into the mental health care industry and the limitations, resources, misunderstandings, and treatments that surround it.

The writing is clear, moving, and educative. And the novel is an exceptionally researched, impassioned tale of one woman’s battle to maintain life while her brain consistently tells her to end it.

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me is, ultimately, part memoir, part investigation that includes statistical data and interviews with Canadian and North American health care professionals that is a valuable, emotive resource for anyone, anywhere who suffers from, works with, or is affected in any way by this disease that wreaks havoc on over 300 million lives worldwide.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Anna Mehler Paperny

ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY is an award-winning reporter for Reuters based in Toronto. Over a decade she's chased down stories ranging from the opioid crisis to migration, from post-quake Haiti to Guantanamo Bay. She's written for the Kingston Whig-Standard, the Edmonton Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, Maclean's Magazine; as a staff reporter at The Globe and Mail; and a reporter-editor for Global News, where she developed globalnews.ca's award-winning Investigative Data Desk. Her work on deaths in Canadian prisons won an investigative journalism award. At Queen's University, she spent most of her time working on the campus newspaper.

Photograph courtesy of Goodreads Author Page.

#BlogTour #Excerpt Spices and Seasons, Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors by Rinku Bhattacharya @Wchestermasala @rararesources

#BlogTour #Excerpt Spices and Seasons, Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors by Rinku Bhattacharya @Wchestermasala @rararesources

#BlogTour #Excerpt Spices and Seasons, Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors by Rinku Bhattacharya @Wchestermasala @rararesources Title: Spices and Seasons, Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors

Author: Rinku Bhattacharya

Published by: Hippocrene Books on May 1, 2014

Genres: Cookbook, Non Fiction

Pages: 373

Rinku Bhattacharya combines her two great loves―Indian cooking and sustainable living―to give readers a simple, accessible way to cook seasonally, locally, and flavorfully. Inspired by the bounty of local produce, mostly from her own backyard, Rinku set out to create recipes for busy, time-strapped home cooks who want to blend Indian flavors into nutritious family meals. Arranged in chapters from appetizers through desserts, the cookbook includes everything from small bites, soups, seafood, meat and poultry, and vegetables, to condiments, breads, and sweets. You’ll find recipes for tempting fare like “Mango and Goat Cheese Mini Crisps,” “Roasted Red Pepper Chutney,” “Crisped Okra with Dry Spice Rub,” “Smoky Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Puree,” and “Red Harvest Masala Cornish Hens,” to name a few. As exotic and enticing as these recipes sound, the ingredients are easily found and the instructions are simple. Rinku encourages readers to explore the bounty of their local farms and markets, and embrace the rich flavors of India to cook food that is nutritious, healthy, seasonal and most importantly, delicious.

 

 

And now a delicious recipe from the book:

 

Pasta with Spice-Infused Ground Lamb and Green Peas (M&P)

I love the Italian classic Bolognese sauce, and I love the classic Indian dish called Keema Matar (ground lamb with green peas). This recipe offers a fusion take on both these dishes, making for an unusual and flavorful pasta dish. It is a wonderful and hearty meal for a winter evening. I like to make this using my stored summer tomatoes. If you wish you can use gluten-free pasta for this recipe.

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Serves: 4 to 6

 

Ingredients

For the keema masala sauce

¼ cup oil (preferably olive oil)

1 large white onion (preferably Spanish or sweet vidalia), chopped

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 (1½-inch) cinnamon stick

2 or 3 green cardamom pods, bruised

3 cloves

¾ pound ground lamb

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

4 medium tomatoes (about ¾ pound), cut into a dice

1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper powder

¾ cup frozen peas

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

For the pasta

2 cups any pasta of your choice

Salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a pan until medium hot, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the white onion, ginger, and garlic. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and cloves and mix well.
  2. Add the ground lamb and mix well. Stir in the turmeric and salt and mix well. Cook the lamb for 6 to 7 minutes until it begins to release its juices and starts turning light brown.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cayenne pepper powder and continue cooking the mixture for another 10 minutes, until the tomatoes turn nice and saucy.
  4. Add the peas and stir well. Add ½ cup of water and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. While the sauce is cooking, mix a large pot of water with the salt and olive oil and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for the amount of time indicated on the box. Drain.
  6. Mix the pasta with the sauce and serve immediately.

 

 

This cookbook is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

 

 

 

About Rinku Bhattacharya

Rinku Bhattacharya (spicechronicles.com) was born in India, and now lives in a house with a vibrant backyard in Hudson Valley, New York with her husband, an avid gardener, and their two children. Rinku’s simple, sustainable approach to Indian cooking is showcased on her blog, Spice Chronicles, and in her Journal News column “Spices and Seasons.”

Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years, and works extensively with local area farmer’s markets on seasonal demonstrations and discussions. Rinku is also the author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles (Hippocrene Books, 2012), winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2013 for Best Indian Cuisine. She writes for the Poughkeepsie Journal, the Journal News, and several online sites, and is a frequent guest on CT Style TV.

 

#BookReview Stalked by Alison Hewitt @PGCBooks @panmacmillan

#BookReview Stalked by Alison Hewitt @PGCBooks @panmacmillan Title: Stalked

Author: Alison Hewitt

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Mar. 1, 2019

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Alison Hewitt was in the midst of training to be a family doctor when she met Al Amin Dhalla through an exclusive dating agency. He was a seemingly respectable businessman from Canada, so attentive and caring it was easy to ignore the warning signs – until he started, step by step, to take over her life.

Six months after they first met Al Amin’s web of lies started to unravel and Alison became aware that he had a sinister dark side. When she tried to end the relationship, the unthinkable happened and she found herself the victim of an escalating campaign of terror. Even when Al Amin was found with knives and guns, the police had no powers to detain him. Nobody could have imagined the events that were to follow, as Alison was left fearing for her life. It would take all her strength to survive.

Brave and gripping, Stalked tells of one young woman’s fight against the man who terrorized her, and her determination to defeat the fear and live a normal life.


Review:

Honest, perceptive, and eerie!

Stalked is the first-hand, harrowing story of Alison Hewitt’s relationship with Al Amin Dhalla, a charming fellow who quickly went from being a kind, considerate gentleman she met through a dating service, to a crazed, obsessed, armed ex-boyfriend.

The writing is clear and fluid. The characters are tormented and scarred, as well as relentless and vicious. And the plot, using first-person narration, unfolds chronologically, building tension and intrigue as it unravels all the personalities, behaviours, actions, and relationships within it.

Stalked is, ultimately, a true story of deception, fixation, harassment, fear, desperation, manipulation, recklessness, and vengeance that’s a frightening reminder that we only see what people want us to see and they are often, unfortunately, not whom they seem.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                   

 

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Alison Hewitt

Alison Hewitt originally trained in medical sciences and nutrition and spent her early twenties travelling the world, including a stint of voluntary work in India. In 2004, she decided to follow her passion and study to be a doctor. She works as a GP and uses her recent experiences to teach legal and police professionals and voluntary services how to recognize and advise on signs of stalking.

#BlogTour #GuestPost Start by Graham Morgan #GrahamMorgan @FledglingPress #LoveBooksGroupTours

#BlogTour #GuestPost Start by Graham Morgan #GrahamMorgan @FledglingPress #LoveBooksGroupTours Title: Start

Author: Graham Morgan

Published by: Fledgling Press on Oct. 10, 2018

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 256

Graham Morgan has an MBE for services to mental health, and helped to write the Scottish Mental Health (2003) Care and Treatment Act. This is the Act under which he is now detained. 
Graham’s story addresses key issues around mental illness, a topic which is very much in the public sphere at the moment. However, it addresses mental illness from a perspective that is not heard frequently: that of those whose illness is so severe that they are subject to the Mental Health Act.
Graham’s is a positive story rooted in the natural world that Graham values greatly, which shows that, even with considerable barriers, people can work and lead responsible and independent lives; albeit with support from friends and mental health professionals. Graham does not gloss over or glamorise mental illness, instead he tries to show, despite the devastating impact mental illness can have both on those with the illness and those that are close to them, that people can live full and positive lives. A final chapter, bringing the reader up to date some years after Graham has been detained again, shows him living a fulfilling and productive life with his new family, coping with the symptoms that he still struggles to accept are an illness, and preparing to address the United Nations later in the year in his new role working with the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.  

 

And now Graham Morgan with:

 

Inspiration for Start

When I was getting help from writerly friends as I wrote START, I had the occasional bit of advice about the chapters I included about Wendy; a slight “We know you love her, but you don’t need to make it too saccharine, too gushy and cloying!” And I do know that this was good advice but Wendy was the main inspiration for the most important chapters of the book and remains one of the main reasons why my life is currently such a good one.

I had lived a difficult life for a number of years which included a terrible break up of my marriage and estrangement from my son and had become used to admissions to hospital when I only wanted to die. Meeting Wendy, finding out that I could love again and be loved in turn woke me up, gave me a balance and an energy that was wonderful and also gave me a chance to get closer and closer to my family, made me aware of what people close to me have gone through by keeping me in their life for so many years.

At one point I was inspired by recording my story of what it was like to lose contact with my son, my possessions, my friends. I thought a man’s side of how people can treat each other at such times may be important but as time went by, I tempered this, took out some of the more blatant examples of what happened. I listened to people who said that I was not adding to the story, was maybe motivated by bitterness and anger, began to consider my own behaviour at that time and adapted what I was prepared to say publicly.

I remember a long walk to Lochinver on a hot summer’s afternoon, plagued by clegs and midges but delighted by the land, the sky, the hills, trees and rivers around me; slowly trusting the people I was walking with, with my worries about what I could say when telling my story, when it involves other people who may be more private than me. At that point I found some sort of slight resolution to the need to tell my version of whatever that truth might be. I began to believe that I have a right to tell some of my tale, but maybe not all of it. Which is partly why none of the people I talk of in the book have their real names recorded, apart from Wendy, and why some of the more shameful things people did were not in the final version of the book.

Lastly, apart from the wonderful inspiration and peace that living in the Highlands and latterly in Argyle, by the Clyde, has given me; has been the joy I have had in living with and working with so many people who experience mental illness. In this book I rarely say too much of their stories; maybe that will come in another book. This one is more my story, but their daily experiences, which are often similar to mine, weave themselves throughout it. I have spent my life trying to help my friends and colleagues and acquaintances speak out and bear witness to the gross injustices so many of us experience and those extreme ways of being and feeling or, for that matter, not feeling, that are so hard to describe and which I would so much love to be recorded.

I hesitate to define it properly; I want as much to record the indignity that trauma and mental illness causes; the terrible agonising loneliness and alienation that can come from the experience of mental distress and the reaction of our society to that distress. But also, in contrast, the joy and comradeship that has come when we have joined together as a community to make a difference both for ourselves and others who will experience mental illness in the future. To say that inspires me is an understatement; nearly all my friends have experienced mental illness, nearly all my working life has been working in partnership with them; their willingness to still see the good in other people, despite what has been done to them and what they have experienced in the way of sorrow and sadness, daily invigorates and inspires me.

 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from the following link!

 

 

About Graham Morgan

Graham was born in 1963 in York. He went to university as an angst-ridden student and was quickly admitted to one of the old mental asylums, prompting the work he has done for most of his life: helping people with mental illness speak up about their lives and their rights. He has
mainly worked in Scotland, where he has lived for the last thirty years, twenty of them in the Highlands. In the course of this work he has been awarded an MBE, made Joint Service User Contributor of the Year by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and, lately, has spoken at the UN about
his and other peoples’ experiences of detention. He has a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and has been compulsorily treated under a CTO for the last ten years. He currently lives in Argyll with his partner and her young twins. Start is his first book.

 

Thank you to Graham Morgan for being featured on my blog today!

 

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