Friday, August 31, 2012

Free Excerpt - Dark Garden by Eden Bradley

Happy Friday!

Sharing gladly another excerpt from Romance at Random!

FREE Excerpt of DARK GARDEN by Eden Bradley:

The Dark Garden; A Novel

Here’s the buy link too - https://www.randomhouse.com/book/17207/the-dark-garden-by-eden-bradley

I have to say, the cover of this book is just stunning!

Enjoy the excerpt!

Happy reading!

Excerpts! Until There Was You by Jessica Scott and Blaze of Winter by Elisabeth Barrett!

Happy Friday!

I would like to share something hot to read during the weekend! I have read the second one and the first one I am reading currently! Here is little something for you from Romance at Random!

HOT OFF THE PRESS – yes, available now, UNTIL THERE WAS YOU – book 2 in the Coming Home series by Jessica Scott.



UNTIL THERE WAS YOU by Jessica Scott, Excerpt

Next, is BLAZE OF WINTER – book 2 in the Star Harbor series by Elisabeth Barrett –


BLAZE OF WINTER by Elisabeth Barrett

Enjoy the excerpts and trust me when I am saying, both books are sizzling!
Happy reading!

Back to the Books Giveaway - 2 winners!

Happy Friday!


Welcome to my stop at Back to the Books Giveaway Hop! This event is organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and by Buried In Books. There are more than 240 blogs participating and it runs from 1 - 7 of September.

This time I am NR. 5 on the list and that is absolutely awesome!



What can you win this time?

My first thought was offering something very different. Since it is also the time when schools start, I was thinking about giving away textbooks, which winners can pick themselves. On the other hand, there might be people visiting my giveaway stop who do not need any school- or textbooks, and who would like to win fiction books.

So I made a compromise this time.

There will be two winners who can either win amazon gift card of 15$ or pick a book from The Book Depository!

If you win and need a school or textbook, then you will receive 15$ GC from amazon.
If you win and need a fictional reading, then you will pick a book from The Book Depository.

Does that sound fair?! I think, it does!

Giveaway details:
This giveaway is open internationally.
There are two winners picked.
The giveaway runs from 1st to 7th of September included.
Fill in the RC form below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy reading!







Labor Day Hop Giveaway 1 - 15 September!

Happy Friday!

Romance at Random is organizing Labor Day Hop and I am participating, too! 



All you have to do, is enter the giveaway below! Labor Day Hop runs from today until 15th of September. There are awesome prizes to win and trust me, all these books are simply great!

Happy Labor Day to you!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and enjoy blog hopping!
Happy reading!

Return to Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs - 5 star Review!

Happy Friday!

Harlequin MIRA had an interesting release for couple of days ago and I got the chance to review this book - Return to Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs. Here is the review!




Title: Return to Willow Lake
Author: Susan Wiggs
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Release date: 28th of Aug 2012
Miniseries: The Lakeshore Chronicles
Category: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9780778313847
Pages: 320 pages in Netgalley
Received: Received review copy from harlequin MIRA through Netgalley

Summary:
Sonnet Romano's life is almost perfect. She has the ideal career, the ideal boyfriend, and has just been offered a prestigious fellowship. There's nothing more a woman wants—except maybe a baby…brother?

When Sonnet finds out her mother is unexpectedly expecting, and that the pregnancy is high risk, she puts everything on hold—the job, the fellowship, the boyfriend—and heads home to Avalon. Once her mom is out of danger, Sonnet intends to pick up her life where she left off.

But when her mother receives a devastating diagnosis, Sonnet must decide what really matters in life, even if that means staying in Avalon and taking a job that forces her to work alongside her biggest, and maybe her sweetest, mistake—award-winning filmmaker Zach Alger. So Sonnet embarks on a summer of laughter and tears, of old dreams and new possibilities, and of finding the home of her heart.

My review:

Return to Willow Lake was a first Susan Wiggs' book I have read and I liked it! It was well written, emotional and heart-warming. Reading Return to Willow Lake was like coming home - it was safe, comforting and created lots of great feelings. The novel is a standalone part of her Lakeshore Chronicles.

Plot:

Sonnet is a young woman whose life is filled with possibilities- her UNESCO career has just rocketed with the opportunity of lifetime of getting a world known fellowship, she has a boyfriend who is responsible and supportive, she has established a relationship with her dad. Everything seems so nice and safe.

When Sonnet is visiting her home town Avalon for her best friend's wedding, she reconnects with her best friend from her childhood and school time - Zach. Zach has grown into a gorgeous young man who lives in Avalon and making living of filming and making videos. Zach is quite successful at what he is doing and has no intentions of leaving Avalon - until the day he meets Sonnet again during the wedding.

After an amazing adventure together during the wedding night, Sonnet flees back to her life in New York and tries to forget the night with Zach by convincing herself, that they can't be friends again. She pushes Zach out of her life again to concentrate to her career and tighten the contacts with her dad. Sonnet's dad is a man with military background  who is running for the Senate and is preparing for the elections.

During the same time Sonnet get the approval for fellowship to travel abroad, she gets bad news regarding her mother back home in Avalon.

Everything changes and what seemed comfortable, nice and safe is not valid anymore. Big parts of Sonnet's life is turned upside town and suddenly Sonnet finds herself back in Avalon supporting her mother and with the job which is very far from her career in New York.

I truly liked the plot: It was not too complicated, but had interesting story lines which made the reading into a enjoyable experience. The story flowed very smoothly and it grabbed me. The relationships between the characters were well-formed and believable and the plot was heavily character driven which was fun.

Characters:

As said, the story was character driven and had an important role to carry. Return to Willow Lake was rich of characters and both the main characters and supportive characters were lively and easy to relate to and understand.

I liked Sonnet. I did not understand why she kept telling herself that it was not possible to be a friend with Zach, but enjoyed all her other characteristics. She was kind, loyal, smart and it was easy for me to relate to her. I adored her for being so loyal and loving to her mother, I think that was wonderfully written by the author.

I adored Sonnet's mother, her being so brave, caring and loving. I think the relationship between Sonnet and her mom what the most important relationship in this book for me. author did an excellent job with this!

Sonnet's dad was also intriguing. I have to admit, that he was little predictable for my taste, but I found it interesting how his mind was operating and how he acted to get rid of his own daughter. Sonnet's boyfriend was similar to him. He would do absolutely anything to achieve what he wanted not hesitating the means to get it. I despise that in a human being.

Another character who I would like to mention is Jezebel. She was so cool! I would love to have a friend like her, I think everybody would!

Generally:

Return to Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs is a wonderful book about family, relationships, loyalty and finding love. I highly recommend it!

5 Flowers!

5 stars.

Thanks goes to Little Bird Publicity and to harlequin MIRA for providing me with the review copy!

Buy Links:
Harlequin
amazon
amazon.co.uk
Barnes and Noble

About the author:

Susan Wiggs has won many awards for her work, including a RITA from Romance Writers of America. She has also published with a number of houses, including Avon, HarperCollins, Warner and MIRA Books.


In addition to being a militant romance writer, a feminist, a guilt-ridden mother and a perfect wife, Susan Wiggs grows mutant tomatoes, speaks French, and plays the cello. Her hobbies are reading, traveling the world and Fair Isle knitting. She lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, her daughter, and the world's most ill-mannered Airedale. Although she has convinced her family that toiling away at a writing career makes her a candidate for martyrdom, she secretly believes it's the second-most fun to be had.

Wiggs, a Harvard graduate, confesses that a book once saved her sanity. Trapped at Barcelona Airport during an airline strike, she vividly remembers savoring every lush, escapist word of a romance novel. Ever since, it has been her quest to write the sort of books people cling to in crowded airports, or whenever life gets too crazy.

I am hoping to get Q&A with Susan Wiggs and looking forward to post it soon!
Happy reading!


 

The Modified Cover Reveal & Giveaway!



Happy Friday everybody!

Welcome to the cover reveal of The Modified by C.A. Kunz! The authors of The Childe trilogy have written a new series and The Modified is the first book in the series. I am looking very much forward to the release because I have truly enjoyed books written by C.A. Kunz.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the cover of The Modified!


What would you sacrifice to save the one’s you love? To save the one who holds your heart? To save the world?

Kenley Grayson is all too familiar with these questions.

After Earth is thrust into its first intergalactic war with an unknown race called the Bringers, our military forces begin to suffer heavy losses. Desperate for a solution, the Allied Federation issues a worldwide draft for every able seventeen-year-old to enlist. As Kenley turns seventeen, she finds herself thrown into the very war that took her older brother’s life.

This year’s draft is a little different than in the past though. A new program, known as the Magnus Project, has been introduced, and only the best and brightest qualify. Kenley is amongst a select few whom are chosen to join this elite group of soldiers, and as a part of this project, undergoes a modification procedure that leaves her and her peers endowed with powers beyond their wildest dreams.

As Earth continues in its struggle against the Bringers, Kenley is transported to a high-tech training facility, the Magnus Academy, to prepare for the major battle that lies ahead. It’s here that she meets the California heartthrob, and son of a legendary war hero, Landon Shaw. As unexpected feelings toward Landon begin to develop, Kenley wonders if this is the right time or place for romance to bloom, especially when those feelings start to interfere with her training.

With the weight of the world on her shoulders, Kenley is constantly reminded of how important she and the rest of the Magnus cadets are to the fate of humanity. She is one of the Modified, Earth’s last line of defense against utter destruction.

Beautiful, isn't it? What do you think?

The Modified releases this Fall!

Like the cover for The Modified? Well then head over to Nathan Szerdy’s website and peruse his amazing collection of works. We guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

About the authors:


The mom and son author duo, C.A. Kunz, thoroughly enjoys writing about things that go bump in the night and futuristic action-packed romances while drinking massive amounts of English breakfast tea and Starbucks coffee. To find out more about this duo and their books visit their blog, or find them on Facebook and Twitter!



C.A. Kunz is organizing a cover reveal giveaway! Here is what you can win:

 
And the content of the swag bag is here:
 
 

 To enter the giveaway, please enter the RC below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review: Destined by Jessie Harrell

Hi all!

Here is a reivew of a YA with Psyche and Eros as the heroine and hero. Enjoy!






Title: Destined
Release date: 17th of November 2011
Published by: Mae Day Publishing
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Historical, Adventure, Romance, YA
Pages: 368 in Paperback
Source: Bought from the Book Depository

Summary:
When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear.

As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined
Review:
First things first, the cover art is so gorgeous, sweet and subtle. Regarding other more technical details, this booked had a text format I’ve never really encountered before, while it didn’t greatly bother me, it took some time to get use to.
Now onto the actual review: Greek mythology is a topic I’ve noticed comes up in a great number of books I read. I can’t say that I prefer that setting the most, but the stories created based on it are often very well written and have engaging plots. The story of Psyche and Eros has already been explored in various ways and formats imaginable. Despite this, Destined still manages to be original in the midst of endless attempts by giving the characters, mainly Psyche, a modern voice and attitudes to match. I was quite pleasantry surprised with this direction the author took and, overall, I can confidently conclude that the effort was successful.
Next to the plot, the writing style was something I enjoyed in this book, it was simple, straightforward and flowing.
Characters:
Loved:
Aphrodite – she was wicked, sneaky, smart (unlike how she is usually portrayed – ditsy, shallow, selfish and a dummy) and a real formidable player amongst the Olympians. I actually believed her to be a goddess in this book not a moody and vain teenager I usually encounter her as. I totally adored her in this book!
Eros – sweet, boyish, full of mischief and hunky. I liked his confusion and inner conflict regarding his feelings for Psyche, they actually developed by themselves without relying solely on the arrow he accidentally grazed himself with.
Alexa was a true inspiration, her ambitions, her view on life, her actions – always trying to do the right thing and any time willing to help and be supportive, even if she goes against someone or something above her with the threat of punishment.
The remaining characters including gods, humans, other beings were all very memorable, appealing and cleverly crafted as well. I especially liked Hermes, he came across as real good buddy.
Dislike:
Beware, a long rant on Psyche and her whole family ahead.
Psyche, oh, Psyche, maybe I’m too harsh but she was just plain immature, incredibly easy to sway and a total brat. Ok, I do respect her for having the courage to fight and take on the journey to find Eros but she didn’t manage to complete any of the tasks or overcome any of the hindrances with her own thinking. Every time she required help. And while I understand that being the case in the original as well, Psyche’s mostly modern way of thinking just made her look as a failure in those situations. Her speaking her mind was also something positive but in most cases she tended to get herself into more trouble because of it. Several times it was mentioned that Eros doesn’t deserve her, while to me it was clearly the other way around. I honestly tried to understand and sympathize with her, but I failed miserably.
Her sister was mean, grudge holding and bitter – ok, I agree it’s not fortunate to get shipped to a foreign land to get married feeling betrayed, but it shouldn’t be that unusual in those times and blaming everything on Psyche was immature and shortsighted. She remained a sore loser. Psyches parents weren’t much better either. While her mom did show some likeable qualities and her father later on, it didn’t entirely erase the fact that they came across greedy and uncaring taking full advantage of Psyche’s situation. I admit that the times were different and such behavior understandable under those circumstances but I still couldn’t help but feel annoyance for their choices.
Overall:
A unique take on the story of Eros and Psyche that is quick, easy and fun. Fans of the couple will experience the story from a new angle and newly introduced will be motivated to know the actual story because they want more of this legendary romance.



3 stars!

LIIS

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: The Blessed by Tonya Hurley

Hi all!

Here is a review of a YA book that will be out September the 25th. Check it out! :)




Author: Tonya Hurley
Title: The Blessed
Series: The Blessed #1
Release date: 25th of September 2012
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: YA, Comptemporary, Supernatural
Pages: 410 in Paperback
Source: ARC recived from Inga who got from BEA2012


Summary:

From the author of the New York Times bestselling ghostgirl series, the start to a captivating and haunting teen trilogy about three girls who become entangled with an enigmatic boy—a boy who believes he is a saint. What if martyrs and saints lived among us? And what if you were told you were one of them?

Meet Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy. Three lost girls, each searching for something. But what they find is Beyond Belief.

Review:

I have to admit that the theme of this book got me extremely excited to read it. After I did, regarding the premise, it delivered tenfold and I was quite satisfied. It was different and I haven’t really come across anything like this in YA – sinister and not sugar coated or safe like many. It just feels out of the ordinary, beginning with the writing style and ending with having four main characters and how they were handled. Each one of them was equally important and similarly on the foreground.

I liked how religion and God played a huge role and created the whole atmosphere of the book, but at the same time managed to stay on the background and as a reader I didn’t feel that this was a religion oriented book. This topic was dealt with very masterfully.

The unexpected and open-for-anything ending was also something I found interestingly staged and something I didn’t see coming. It’s difficult to guess where the three girls end up and, overall, this book was anything but predictable. The mysterious “bad guys” were the sort that left me hanging to know more. Who, why, how – answers were scarcely given and they simply raised the bar of excitement.

Next to the positive aspects there were many things I wasn’t very fond of in the story. I felt that the romance was lacking, even though, the focus was on other parts and there might have not been any intention of romance at all, but the relationship between the three girls and one boy was vague and out of the blue at most. With no actual purpose, Sebastian came across as a minor unintentional Casanova since there was no specific paring to root for but then again there were hints and possibilities for every option.

The text was at parts difficult to read, although simple, it occasionally flowed unnaturally. At times it was also very challenging to understand where the plot was going or what exactly is the purpose of all the events. This, however, can be viewed as a pro or a con, since it provide the story with slight suspense but then again left me confused sometimes since the anticipation for some answers was extended quite long. Despite this, when the twist in the middle did arrive, it was quite intriguing and promising.

Characters:

The characters were on a basic level quite hard to relate to since they were quite extreme in their way of life and too rebellious. Everything doesn’t necessarily always have to be simple but I felt that the girls were too jaded, desperate and lost. In addition, suicide isn’t a topic I’m very comfortable reading about.

Lucy – Confused, desperate for attention with which she basically identifies herself, shallow, self-centered but had more than enough “nice” moments where here true self can be glanced and just frantically needs love. I actually see her developing into an interesting and good individual with the right people’s guidance and experience. She was the most gripping amongst the girls.

Cecilia – Most likable from all the girls. Went after her dreams even after setbacks but was impulsive and irrational at times.

Agnes – Weak, too dreamy, idealistic, naïve but also innocent, serene, calm and collected. I immensely disliked her could-have-been fatal stunt because of a useless boy, at least she realized that herself after the deed. In addition, her extreme ways to make her mother take her seriously or give her independence seemed more like a bratty whiney child than a reasonable girl.

Sebastian – He was mysterious and slightly creepy, but this is something that made him compelling. After reading the book I still don’t completely understand him and find him very intriguing.

Overall:

This book has a lot going for it, but the outcome wasn’t executed to its full potential. Despite this, I enjoyed reading it because it was really different, just like Sebastian – I didn’t fully grasp this book but still I was compelled and hooked.




3 stars!

LIIS

Friday, August 24, 2012

Review of Shadow of Deceit - 5 stars!

Happy Friday!



Welcome to my stop at Shadow of Deceit blog tour! First of all, I owe an apology for the author and tour organizer Sizzling PR for being delayed with my post. I was supposed to post my review 4 days ago, but unfortunately due to some family matters, it got delayed. I am sorry.

My stop includes review of Shadow of Deceit, some information about the book and author and an excerpt from the book. Enjoy! Blog tour is organized by Sizzling PR and by the author Mal Olson and it runs until the end of August.


Author: Mal Olson
Title: Shadow of Deceit
Release date: 17th of February 2012
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Reading level: FICTION – Adult: Suspense, Romance
URL: http://www.malolson.com/
Pages: 262 pages in PDF
Source: Received from sizzling PR for reviewing

Summary:
Can an FBI agent obsessed with redemption and a grieving widow desperate to clear her husband’s name learn to believe in love again?

Shannon Riedel faces down danger when a gunman breaks into her office claiming her dead husband swindled him. When FBI agent Tony Crazaniak arrives to investigate, sexual heat sizzles. The ex-Delta Force operative’s massive presence and dark eyes trigger an attraction the young widow finds unnerving.

When Crazaniak convinces Shannon she needs his protection, they partner to unearth secrets her husband left behind—secrets involving a Tanzanian mine that yields perfect blue diamonds coveted by dealers around the world—secrets connected to a terrorist leader Crazanaik has vowed to take down.

With danger surrounding them, two emotionally wounded souls bond, but can they put their demons to rest and trust in love? Can they survive long enough to find out?

My review:

Want to have some suspense and action? Love sizzling romance? Shadow of Deceit is the book for you!

Shadow of Deceit by Mal Olson is easy to read, it is quick paced, fun and very entertaining! You have the intriguing suspense plot, interesting characters, action and thrills all in one book.

Shannon Riedel is a young widow whose husband is dead. She is FBI agent who is trying to understand why her husband died. When she is attacked by a gunman, another FBI agent, Tony Crazaniak is interfering and protecting Shannon from the unknown dangers, attraction sparkles. Both of them have some heavy luggage to carry from their previous relationships and they are struggling with several thins at the same time: Shannon wants to clear her husband's name,Tony has doubts about Tyler's innocence, killer chasing a valued missing item, potential threats of inside job and the undeniable attraction. The characters were well written and I found both Shannon and Tony believable and understandable.

Shadow of Deceit is a well-written and easy to read page tuner which you on' be able to put down until it's read.

5 Flowers!
5 stars.

Thanks goes to Sizzling PR and Mal Olson for providing me with the review copy!


Excerpt:

The gun Shannon came across at the bottom of a neatly folded stack of masculine attire on her bed shouldn’t have surprised her. She’d seen the agent’s Glock earlier.

Intrigued, she reached for the pistol, an object that seemed so out of place in her bedroom. As though she were familiar with handling firearms when she wasn’t, she wrapped her hand around the grip then jerked her head toward the bathroom door, conjuring up thriller fantasies.

But she didn’t have to conjure anything when she noticed a letter poking out of Crazaniak’s inside jacket pocket. Nor did she have to imagine the fact that the closet door stood slightly ajar. Her stomach clenched, a mix of anger and unease. Had the FBI agent been nosing through Tyler’s belongings?

Tit for tat—the urge to sneak a peak overwhelmed her. Her heartbeat ratcheted up as she shifted the gun to her left hand and reached for the letter.

At that instant, she sensed a presence behind her. Even as the sound of water pounded the walls of the tub enclosure, Shannon knew in her heart of hearts that six foot-plus of dripping wet, naked man stood not relaxing under the water jets, but hovering five heart-palpitating feet away.

“Want to toss me my clothes?” he asked.

Unwilling to face him, she remained quick-frozen like a pillar of ice.

“Tell me you weren’t snooping in my things,” he rumbled.

“Tell me you weren’t snooping in my closet.”

“ I wasn’t snooping.”

She eyed the edge of the letter. “I thought I’d treat your duds to some suds. You want to hang out in my robe for a few?”

“Not enough material there to cover my manly attributes. I’ll settle for day-old Jockeys, and what the hell were you doing with my pistol?”

“Nothing.” She almost turned around.

Her chest thumped. The thought of Crazaniak au natural not only spiked her pulse, it titillated her imagination. She waited for a chord of guilt to strum across her heart. It didn’t happen. Instead, discord fluttered low in her abdomen, and she sensed him moving closer.

-------

About the author:

Mal Olson writes adrenaline-kicked romantic suspense. When her consuming passion for writing allows time, she enjoys reading, flower gardening, jamming with friends on the mountain dulcimer, and hiking in a nearby state forest (or in the mountains somewhere). She has three grown children and one granddaughter and resides with her own special hero in southeast Wisconsin where she juggles writing time with her freelance landscape design business.

Website / Book Trailer

Buy Links: Amazon / The Wild Rose Press

      Happy reading!  

Love Comes Later by Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar - Review and Guest Post!

Happy Friday!

I love blog tours! You know why that is? Because it gives me many options to read books which I otherwise would not find and meet authors whom I probably wouldn't have met. Today I will present one of these books to you, books, which I truly like and these are like gemstones amongst others.



Ladies and gentlemen, WOW! Women On Writing! presents: Love Comes Later by Mohana Rajakumar.

My stop includes review, guest post and information about the book and author. Let's start with the review of Love Comes Later.




Tour Dates: July 30 – August 24
Title: Love Comes Later
Author: Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar
Genre: Literary Fiction
Twitter Hashtag: #LCLQatar

Synopsis:



Hind is granted a temporary reprieve from her impending marriage to Abdulla, her cousin. Little does anyone suspect that the presence of Sangita, her Indian roommate, may shake a carefully constructed future. Torn between loyalties to Hind and a growing attraction to Abdulla, Sangita must choose between friendship and a burgeoning love.

A modern quest for the right to pursue love and happiness, even when it comes in an unconventional package, LOVE COMES LATER explores similarities between the South Asian and Arab cultures while exposing how cultural expectations affect both men and women. Identities are tested and boundaries questioned against the shifting backdrops of Doha, Qatar and London, England.
     


My review:  

Love Comes Later by Mohana Rajakumar awed me. It was a fascinating page turner, smoothly written and I could not put it down before the last page was turned. It was brilliantly created masterpiece which combined traditions, religion, family topics and last but not least also the complication of love. It was all and nothing what I expected, but I truly enjoyed it!  

Plot:  

Abdulla lost his wife few years ago and finds him in a situation where his family thinks he should re-marry. His family is convinced that Abdulla is not capable of finding him a new spouse and they organize an arranged married for him. Arranged married is not something Abdulla finds appealing and this is where the story starts off. 

Abdulla's expected new wife is Hind is neither excited about the marriage and besides that, Hind's roommate in London during the studies - Sangita - is also complicating things furthermore and relationships and love gets interesting.  

The mixture of bringing three different traditions - Qatar Muslim, Hindu and European - together gave a lot extra to the story. It added extra color and fascination for reading this book. The author gives excellent insight into contemporary Qatari society with oil money, contradictions and different values.  

Love Comes Later is an excellent title for this book! One of the prejudices about arranged marriage is that you will learn to love your spouse, it does not have to happen right away. Besides that, Abdulla truly finds his love, just little later and unexpected way. I have to admit, that with very different cultural background and traditions, I will never be able to understand the idea of arranged marriages, but the reading experience of Love Comes Later was not disturbed by my own thoughts about it.  

Characters:  

Abdulla was cute. Yes, cute. There were times where he got me angry and I wanted to shake him and tell him to man up, but there were parts of me that really liked his loyalty to his family, his rebellion towards what was forced upon him and his . Abdulla grew with the story and it was visible, that author enjoyed writing his character.  

There were quite many characters in the book and it took me little time to familiarize myself with all of them. It was confusing in the beginning of the story, probably because of the many strange sounding names and due to the amount of the supportive characters. But the total picture of Love Comes Later was colorful and alive and I loved that.  

Generally:  

Love Comes Later is a book about differences, be it cultural, religious or interracial. Yet it shows, that whatever the background we have, love knows no boundaries. It can be complicated and hard, but at the very end it does not matter. What matters is who is the person whom you end up with.   I highly recommend Love Comes Later!  

5 Flowers!
5 stars.  

Thanks goes to WOW! Women On Writing and to the author for providing me with the review copy!    

About the Author:

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a writer who has lived in Qatar since 2005. She has a PhD from the University of Florida with a focus on gender and postcolonial theory. Her dissertation project was published as Haram in the Harem (Peter Lang, 2009) a literary analysis of the works of three Muslim women authors in India, Algeria, and Pakistan. She is the creator and co-editor of five books in the Qatar Narratives series, as well as the Qatari Voices anthology which features essays by Qataris on modern life in Doha (Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, 2010). Her research has been published in numerous journals and anthologies.

She was the Associate Editor of Vox, a fashion and lifestyle magazine based in Doha and a winner of the She Writes We Love New Novelists competition. She has been a regular contributor for Variety Arabia, AudioFile Magazine, Explore Qatar, Woman Today, The Woman, Writers and Artists Yearbook, QatarClick, Expat Arrivals, Speak Without Interruption and Qatar Explorer. She hosted two seasons of the Cover to Cover book show on Qatar Foundation Radio. Currently Mohana is working on a collection of essays related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf and a novel based in Qatar. She believes words can help us understand ourselves and others. Catch up on her latest via her blog or follow her on Twitter @moha_doha.

Author’s Websites:

Mohanalakshmi Phongsavan, PhD - www.mohanalakshmi.com
Maktaba, Children's Library Project, co-founder - www.maktabaqatar.org


Book trailer:





The author agreed to write a guest post for Me and Reading, so ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar!


Choosing or Rejecting the Other



By Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

“But I don’t even think of you as black,” people, mostly Caucasians, would say to me on the off moment when race would enter a conversation before we decided what to order for dinner or what movie to see. Even with that dubious promise, I still felt a sting each time a friend would also say, “My family would never let me marry [or date] a black person.” From high school to college, the feeling was the same: a rush of embarrassment, confusion, and also betrayal. If they didn’t like black people, presumably because they were different, then how did they really feel about me?

Being a child of immigrants and growing up in a North Florida town as an Indian girl meant I had no real side to speak of in the classic dividing race line of America. I wasn’t black, which everyone seemed to find so unfavorable, but since my skin wasn’t white, I didn’t fit in either community.

And perhaps these early encounters with being what academics in cultural studies call “the other” or different is what shaped my own interests in reading and writing. My latest book, Love Comes Later, is an exploration of how young people in traditional societies negotiate the boundaries between themselves and those from other cultures.

The characters Sangita and Abdulla assess what religion means to each of them personally and as a couple. They’re of different faiths: Islam and Hinduism. Their parents have certain opinions about the viability of a long-term relationship. Religious conversion is one debate at the heart of this story, since Muslim men and women cannot marry someone who is not of their faith in a Muslim country.

In today’s globalizing society, intermarriage, between ethnicities or religions, is a fact that cannot be ignored or discouraged by law or social customs. I need look no further than my own romantic journey as an example.

A lifetime of wanting to please my parents and find a South Indian mate, lead me to move to the Middle East, as far away as I could get from communal expectations of how to live my life. Now celebrating six years of marriage with a husband of very different background than my own, I hope that the world we give our children is a more compassionate and accepting place.

Finding a good man, of any creed, in the contemporary climate is not easy. If you are so lucky, I advise, snap him up quickly because they seem to be a shrinking breed.

The longer you wait for this momentous decision, and yes, for ladies in particular, the older we are when someone wonderful yet unexpected comes along, the more likely family members will concede their objections when they see your happiness.

After all our son, a child of two cultures, growing up in a third, will have to make his own decisions in the entirely new context of the world he will find himself in as an adult.

What do you think? Are people’s attitudes changing towards the taboo of marrying outside your community? Or are things more rigid than ever?

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Feel feel to comment with what your thoughts are!
Thanks, Mohana, for coming by and writing a guest post!


Happy reading!




 

Winners of June, July and August Giveaways! 11 giveaways with 17 winners announced!

Happy Friday!

Summer time has meant less blogging to me. I have taken my time to enjoy long and light nights to read a lot, but haven't really caught up with announcing the winners of different giveaways I have had on the blog.

I decided to make one winner post instead of 10-11 different post, so please bare with me!




Winner of 15$ GC from amazon.com is:

Victoria R.

Congratulations!

Winner has been contacted already via email.


There are two winners:

Winner of 1 indie book where winner can pick the book is:

Andrea Brigneti

Winner of 1 surprise indie book is:

Natalie Aguirre

Congratulations!

Winners have been sent emails already.


There are 3 winners who all can pick a book from The Book Depository.

Winners are:

Aisling Fallon
Kristina Yeager
Carrie Lee Ardoin

Congratulations!!!

Winners have been contacted already via email.


There are 2 winners who cam pick a book from The Book Depository. Winners are:

Cherry Mischivous
Kimberly Kim

Congratulations!

Winners have been contacted already via email.



There is 1 winner who can pick a book from the Book Depository. The winner is:

Kaisy Daisy

Congratulations!

Winner has been contacted by email already.



There are 2 winners. The first winner will receive Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry and the other winner will receive 15$ GC from amazon.com.

Winner of Pushing the Limits is:

Michele Oyamata

Winner of 15$ GC from amazon.com is:

Jessica S.

Congratulations!!!

Winners have been contacted by email.




Winner of Deep Autumn Heat giveaway is:

Emily Kaiser
Congratulations!!!

Winner has been contacted by email.


The winner of 15$ GC to amazon.com is:

Janita M.
Congratulations!

Winner has been contacted by email.


The winner of 1 book from the Book Depository is:

Kat Riley

Congratulations!!!

Winner has been contacted by email.



There are two winners, who can pick a YA book from the Book Depository. Winners are:

Carina Olsen
Cheyenne Teska

Congratulations!

Winners have been contacted by email.




The winner of 15$ GC to amazon is:

Michele Moore Luker

Congratulations!

Winner has been contacted by email.

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That's it! 11 giveaways with 17 winners! Summer is almost over and all the giveaways finalized. There will be more giveaways already starting from next week, so if you did not win, there will be plenty of other possibilities!

Happy reading!







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