Saturday, December 10, 2011

Busted in Bollywood by Nicola Marsh

Busted in Bollywood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Busted in Bollywood by Nicola Marsh is a fun light read about Shari Jones. Shari Jones finds herself in a real mess, homeless, broken hearted and unemployed. Unsure that her life will turn around anytime soon her best friend Rita proposes an outrageous scheme that involves Shari posing as Rita in an attempt to get rid of her fiancĂ© whom Rita’s traditional Indian parents have chosen for her. Not seeing anything more promising on the horizon Shari agrees to the scheme and travels to India only to find that nothing goes according to plan and once again she has placed herself in a position where she could very well have her heart broken. Shari has a decision to make, should she risk it all and take the pieces of her new life and begin to put them together or should she play it safe, stay in New York and hope that someday opportunity and love will come her way again.

This book is a quick read and it is fun. There is nothing really substantial about this book. The characters are one dimensional and the relationships are superficial but the book is a page turner, full of laughs, a little bit of shock and ultimately what everyone wants in a good tale of love lost and found again, a happy ending.

What this book really has going for it, besides being fun to read, is a great exploration of Indian food. There is a lot of food in this book and some very rich descriptions of the spicy and the sweet. I enjoy it when books can step outside their primary purpose and give us a little cultural education. How accurate the food accounts are I could not tell you not being all that familiar with Indian food myself, but each one is a delicious little morsel you will savor.

There are also some nice blurbs about the culture in India and Bollywood movies that this reader found interesting. Since a majority of the story takes place in India, we, along with Shari discover its secrets and delights. By the end of this book you will find yourself ordering Indian food and curling up in front of a Bollywood film.

Those who want something fun to read over their holiday vacations will find this a great read. It can be read in just a couple of days and will leave you with happy, satisfied feeling.

Publication Date: December 6, 2011

Note: I was given this book for review. In no way does that fact effect what was written in this review.

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Holiday Kisses: A Holiday Romance Collection

Holiday Kisses: A Holiday Romance CollectionHoliday Kisses: A Holiday Romance Collection by Shannon Stacey

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Holiday Kisses: A Holiday Romance Collection by Shannon Stacey, Jaci Burton , HelenKay Dimon, Alison Kent and Angela James (Editor) is a collection of short romance tales all with the theme of Christmas. The first story is “This Time Next Year” is one of a woman who finds herself stranded on the side of the road on the way to visit her grandmother for Christmas. Just at her moment of need a cowboy comes riding to the rescue, pulls her to safety and together they find out just what it means to have someone they love at Christmas.

The second story, “A Rare Gift” is about a man who has no interest in women after a disastrous marriage that is why it takes him by surprise when his ex-wife’s younger sister begins to grow on him during a work project. Now with the holidays approaching he finds himself asking whether or not he can put his trust in love a second time.

The third story, “It’s Not Christmas Without You,” is about a woman who breaks up with her boyfriend in order to accept her dream job in the city. Still in love with her boyfriend she cannot bring herself to go home for Christmas. When her boyfriend, who is also still in love, discovers this he is determined to bring Christmas to her in the city in hopes that after Christmas she will come home with him and resume their love story.

The last story in this romance short story collection is, “Mistletoe and Margaritas.” Two years after losing her husband a woman still finds herself not quite ready to move on. However, she still believes in love and is not surprised when her needs start to manifest themselves in her dreams. What surprises her however are the feelings that she has begun to develop about her best friend, Justin. As it turns out he has always had affection for her and when they find themselves at a holiday party together they are no longer able to conceal their true feelings for one another.

I have to admit there are few times when I rate a romance novel higher than 3 stars. This collection started off with great promise the first short story actually engaged me in it’s story line before moving on to the “romance” part of the novel (read here the lusty love scenes). For short stories they actually did take their time letting their characters fall in love and all of them stuck true to the holiday theme. What made this book dip below the typical 3 stars I will give a romance novel is the graphicness of the love scenes. Call me a prude but I have read many Sandra Brown novels with some pretty intense love scenes that did not make me say, “Well now THAT is just going too far,” this collection made me say that more than once. I am sure there are many readers out there that enjoy those type of love scene but for this reader it bordered on erotic fiction and outside the taste of this reader.

People who enjoy romance novels however will more than likely enjoy this collection, as mentioned earlier the contributors do take their time to develop a story between their characters and many of them are enjoyable page turners, the only real problem with this collection is that according to the taste of this reader some of the love scenes were just a little too much.

Publication Date: December 5, 2011

Note: I was given this book for review. In no way does that fact effect what was written in this review.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Yoga as Music on Elephant Journal

A while ago I wrote about the movements we do in yoga as a form of music that we perform with our bodies. Well I submitted that article to the very popular and totally awesome online yoga and meditation magazine Elephant Journal and it was published! You can read a revised version of my initial post here...

If you are not a member of Elephant Journal yet I encourage you to join. It is a fantastic publication with a wide variety of articles to read, well worth the  money and it's eco-friendly. :)

Happy Reading.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Sun Salutations A, B and C

The Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskar are very common in many yoga classes however there are so many variations that it can be confusing which you are doing. There are some great resources online that I would like to share with you about all three Sun Salutations A, B,C. In this post you will see videos from Yoga journal for Sun Salutation A, B and a modified version. A and B are pretty classic and you will see those a lot in classes and online. The modified version is new to me but it looks like a great version of A and C (in C you use the 8 point pose to lower yourself into Cobra instead of Chatarunga). I could not find a video that portrayed C but here is a link to a PDF that lists all three along with common names, Sanskrit and breath…

Sun Salutation A, B, C

Hope you find these helpful and that you add the Sun Salutations into your daily practice.

Sun Salutation A

Sun Salutation B

Modified Sun Salutation