Tag Archive: Book

The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star

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The enchanting new Baby Ganesh agency novel sees Inspector Chopra and his elephant sidekick investigating the dark side of Bollywood

Mumbai thrives on extravagant spectacles and larger-than-life characters but even in the city of dreams, there is no guarantee of a happy ending.

Rising star and incorrigible playboy Vikram Verma has disappeared, leaving his latest film in jeopardy.

Hired by Verma's formidable mother to find him, Inspector Chopra and his sidekick, baby elephant Ganesha, embark on a journey deep into the world's most flamboyant movie industry.

As they uncover feuding stars, failed investments and death threats, it seems that many people have a motive for wanting Verma out of the picture.  

And yet, as Chopra has long suspected, in Bollywood the truth is often stranger than fiction.

Author Vaseem Khan was born in London but subsequently worked in Mumbai for ten years, falling in love with the city, the country and the people.

He is married and lives in London with his wife, whilst working at University College London in their Department of Security and Crime Science where he is astonished on a daily basis by the way modern science is being employed to tackle crime.

‘India’s Tolkien’ of Hindu mythology

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The success has changed his fortunes, reportedly earning £770,932 for his next series

The success has changed his fortunes, reportedly earning £770,932 for his next series


Best-selling Indian author Amish Tripathi has released his much anticipated fifth book, Sita: Warrior of Mithila

The book re-imagines the life of the Hindu goddess from the epic Ramayan.

With four million copies in print, the former banker, who has successfully turned centuries-old mythological tales into bestselling works of fiction, is one of the highest selling Indian authors writing in English.

Written almost entirely during his daily commute to and from work, in the back seat of his car, the book took him five years to finish.

Bollywood director Karan Johar has bought the rights to make a Hindi film on Meluha, and Tripathi has also sold English film rights to an unnamed Hollywood filmmaker.

His Ramchandra series, based on the story of Hindu god Ram, was launched in 2015 with The Scion of Ikshvaku. Sita: Warrior of Mithila is the second in the five-part series.

Free book download: ‘Tries and Prejudice’

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Ikram’s book ‘Tries and Prejudice’ can be downloaded here: Click on the picture

Ikram’s book ‘Tries and Prejudice’ can be downloaded here: Click on the picture


The autobiography of England’s first Muslim rugby international has been released free of charge on Amazon.

Ikram Butt, who played Rugby League for England as well as rugby union for Pakistan, has worked tirelessly over the past 13 years to build bridges between communities through a number of organisations including his own BARA (British Asian Rugby Association).

His hard hitting yet entertaining autobiography ‘Tries and Prejudice’, co-authored by Tony Hannan, is available to download for Kindle without cost. It covers his life in professional sport and challenges faced away from the pitch growing up in Yorkshire.

Ikram explained: “As a Muslim living in Britain I was disgusted and saddened by the attacks in Manchester and London. In my work over the years in using sport to unite communities it’s clear that we have to find common ground between ourselves.

“Our similarities will always far outweigh our differences and bringing people together of all backgrounds and faiths using sport does work. I have seen it time and time again and we must persist down this path.

“Practical measures must be taken to mitigate the chance of radicalization by getting young people involved in activities that build bridges. Sport can achieve so much in this respect if the political will is there,” added Ikram.

Ikram is widely recognised as one of the most influential British Asian role models and recipient of an honorary doctorate from Leeds Beckett University as well as a Fellowship from Bradford College for using sport to change people's lives.

Ikram carries out ambassadorial duties for the British Asian Trust and Mosaic, both founded by HRH Prince Charles as well as being a leading voice in the White Ribbon Campaign aimed at raising awareness of abuse by men against women and girls.

‘Spice Queen’: Is this Asian housewife Bradford’s answer to Nigella Lawson?

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SPICE QUEEN: Parveen Ashraf hails from Bradford, which has held its title as Britain’s ‘Curry Capital’ for four years

SPICE QUEEN: Parveen Ashraf hails from Bradford, which has held its title as Britain’s ‘Curry Capital’ for four years

This lady is on a mission to teach the nation to cook Indian and believes that her book 'Parveen The Spice Queen' is her secret weapon - well not that secret really as it’s available to buy!

Proud of her culture and cooking, a tumour-defying local mum brings together the flavours of Asia with a huge dollop of Yorkshire common sense.

After successfully defeating a serious illness, Bradford-born Parveen Ashraf arrived at a pivotal juncture in her life, and decided to leave the corporate working day behind and turn her passion for food into her career.

The 51-year-old married mother-of-three has been fuelled by the desire to cook for the man in her life and her children, for whom she believes is essential to provide good, wholesome and healthy food.

For almost a decade, Parveen has taught Indian cooking, run cookery demonstrations and catered at glamorous Bollywood-themed dinner parties. Now, she brings all of this experience to life in her step-by-step cookbook.  

Her first book ‘Parveen The Spice Queen’, includes every favourite traditional delight including Chicken Masala, Lamb Bhuna and Samosas.  

KITCHEN TOOL: Beautifully illustrated and full of anecdotes from Parveen’s childhood, this book belongs in every kitchen

KITCHEN TOOL: Beautifully illustrated and full of anecdotes from Parveen’s childhood, this book belongs in every kitchen

But what makes Parveen’s culinary masterpiece stand out is her innovative “spice bags,” which are little parcels of pre-mixed spices designed to work hand-in-hand with her recipes, taking the fear and uncertainty out of Indian cooking.

Parveen recognised that there had been a shift away from traditional cooking and that more and more people were relying on ready meals and jars to fit in with a busy lifestyle.

“Even in Asian families, the art of cooking was being lost and this struck a chord,” says Parveen.

“Having been asked to teach the daughter of a family friend how to cook simple Indian meals in preparation for getting married, I realised that so many young people today did not know their way around a kitchen and appeared scared to even give it a try.

“Hopefully the combination of my book and the spice bags will give even the beginner the confidence to try.”

She recalls that the focal point of family life was family meal times when all seven siblings, mum and dad would sit down to the evening meal, eat chat and spend time with one another, she says of her childhood that was a wonderful time "were like the Asian Waltons!"

Parveen’s real love affair with food began in the 70’s watching her mother and big sister cook “amazing food” and all her recipes are based on the ones her mother used to use.

The only difference, says Parveen, is that her mother “cooked by eye” and didn’t actually measure anything. Parveen's recipes are thought through very carefully with each gram of spice being weighed precisely.

Parveen designed a pre-made “spice bags” out of sheer necessity when her son, Imran, left home for university. She wrote a few recipes and emailed them over to him.

Unfortunately, much to Imran’s dismay, the dishes did not turn out the way he wanted, so she blended a few sachets of spices and posted them off to him.

Despite her journey has being full of ups and downs and at times sheer hard work, now her determination, patience and perseverance has paid off with the launch of her book.

She says “It was bitter sweet time as I had lost my mother a few months before and naturally the book is dedicated to her.”

She tried drugs. She tried arguing. She tried writing a book.

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Daughter of Lebanon civil war ex-hostage's forgives after meeting her dad’s captor

After a quarter century, the daughter of the longest-held American hostage during Lebanon's civil war says she's found her father's love. And it took coming face-to-face with one of his captors to do it.

"I was searching and searching and this search, the journey, brought me closer to my father," said Sulome Anderson, a Brooklyn journalist whose father, Terry Anderson, was seized by Shiite kidnappers in Beirut in 1985 and held until 1991.

"I love my dad very much. My dad has always loved me. I just didn't know that because he wasn't able to show it to me."

Her recently published book, "The Hostage's Daughter," chronicles what happened after she met her father for the first time, at age 6, after his release from his long imprisonment. Anderson, then a chief Middle East correspondent, was among around 100 foreign hostages taken during the war.

Sulome Anderson said she expected him to be a "superman" as a young child.

Real life was more turbulent. Before she turned 10, the two were having screaming fights.

"One of the problems that we had after I came home was communication," Terry Anderson said in a telephone interview from his Virginia home. "I was not able to express my feelings well and of course she was a very small girl in a very confusing and often scary world. So we didn't really connect very well."

Sulome, now 31, said she escaped into drugs and depression for years, growing so distant from her father that they went weeks and months without speaking.

They became more estranged as Terry Anderson and his wife, Sulome Anderson's mother, divorced.

Sulome Anderson hated when he married a horse trainer only six years older than herself. At the peak of her rebelliousness, she cranked up the volume of the song "Gold Digger" by Kanye West, a passive aggressive message to the wife of a man who received tens of millions of dollars after suing Iran. The money, through bad investments, eventually disappeared. The new marriage fell apart.

Sulome said her father gave her a Rolex after she graduated from New York University with a 3.7 grade point average, but she pawned it for drugs within a month. She attempted suicide three times.

Her climb out of darkness began after learning she suffered from borderline personality disorder.

By 2009, she had given up plans to be an actress and decided to become a journalist. Before long, she headed to Lebanon, her mother's birthplace, and began trying to reconstruct the events surrounding the Lebanese hostage crisis that tore her family apart.

The trail she followed led her to a Hezbollah official in one of the southern towns near the Israeli border.

That man revealed himself to have been one of her father's teenage captors. Sitting in a room with the man's wife and children, she confronted him, and then forgave him.

Terry Anderson said he was amazed at the encounter.

"I was just astounded that she found somebody who had been there on the other side and interviewed him, which I thought took a fair amount of guts," he said, adding that he'd never discouraged the pursuit.

"I think she did some extraordinary things, went on a very difficult personal journey, but also accomplished a pretty important piece of journalism doing it," said Anderson, now 69 and retired. "She's now a better journalist than I ever was."

He said he'd been scared for his daughter as she pursued her career, but he never tried to interrupt her journey.

In the book, Sulome Anderson tells of nearly entering Syria last year to report on developments there when an FBI agent warned her intelligence officials believed her life was in danger. She didn't go.

Awaken your ‘co-creator’: A refreshing book in the field of self-help

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LIFE-CHANGING: The book will help unlock the reader’s full potential

LIFE-CHANGING: The book will help unlock the reader’s full potential

Mohammed Haroon - who was born in Mirpur, Azad Kashmir and moved to the UK in 1969- has written an optimistic new life guide that prompts us to question our beliefs, tap into our imaginations and reconnect with our unconscious in order to unlock our full potential.

According to Mr Haroon, we have only 15 per cent control over our lives; the other 85 per cent comes from our DNA – for instance, the colour of our hair and eyes – or our innate spiritual make up.

Already holding a degree in commerce, Mr Haroon completed two further degrees in Accountancy and Law. Outside his professional career, Mr Haroon continued to seek additional knowledge in order to discover his identity in the changing world and practiced regular meditation.

He says: “All religions and philosophies share a basic tenet of understanding that there is once creator or source from which all life and knowledge flows. Some people call it God, Nature, the Universe, Consciousness, Vibration, the Matrix, the Field – and many others.”

Mr Haroon’s book explores how human beings can ‘create their own reality’ as we have ‘the most powerful brains among all living things’.

“We have the ability to create our own reality,” he continues, “in other words, we are co-creators.”

Mr Haroon draws upon the wisdom of age and experience – along with his passionately held belief that the greatest sense of satisfaction in life comes from helping others.

In ‘The Best You’, he has managed to craft a uniquely enriching self-help book which is designed with one simple intention: to enable the reader to become the best version of themselves possible and to realise their own dreams as a result.

POLYMATH: Mr Haroon has studied numerology, astrology and spiritual healing in order to seek truth in the teachings

POLYMATH: Mr Haroon has studied numerology, astrology and spiritual healing in order to seek truth in the teachings

Mr Haroon coaches that positive questions will elicit positive answers and that by transforming your mind-set from limiting to empowering, you will enable self-development. The questions we ask ourselves are seeds of change and asking the potent question ‘why’ forces us to think about a specific element in our lives and acts like a magnet, pulling us towards action.

The author guides the reader to understand the mechanics of their lives; to see a different view of how these elements fit together and enable them to take greater control of their direction so they can release their true untapped potential.

Reinforcing the benefits of meditation, regardless of experience of ability, he explains that the simple act of finding solitude in a quiet space can nourish the mind and soul, allowing space for purposeful thinking.

By removing ourselves from the distractions of daily life, even just for half an hour, and taking the time to ask our higher self for what we really want, we can become aligned with the universe and positive change will follow.

To change our lives forever – and for the better – we just need to ask the right questions.

‘The Best You: Awakening the Co-Creator in You’ is the perfect read for those looking for a refreshing approach in the field of self-help.

Huddersfield Professor wins book prize

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FROM FARM TO FORK: Professor Samir Dani’s new book covers the ins-and-outs of the global food supply chain

FROM FARM TO FORK: Professor Samir Dani’s new book covers the ins-and-outs of the global food supply chain

Book on food crime is ‘arrestingly’ good

A University of Huddersfield Professor has received international acclaim for his latest book, looking at the growing complexities of the global food supply chain.

Professor Samir Dani’s latest book ‘Food Supply Management and Logistics’ is described by its publishers as an ‘exciting new text’ dealing with food supply from ‘farm to fork.’

With the global food supply chain more important than ever, with rafts of new regulations, including measures to deal with ‘food crime’, the book comes at a time when more and more people are affected by such issues.

‌Topics covered include food supply chain production and manufacturing; food logistics; regulation, safety and quality; food sourcing; retailing; risk management; innovation; trends in technology; challenges facing international food supply chains; plus food security and future developments.

‌Professor Dani has conducted extensive research into global food supply but found that there were no up-to-date books that covered all the issues.

“I realised that there was a need for something that covered regulations, international challenges in exporting food, and risks in the food supply chain environment,” he said.

“None of the books on the market had comprehensive coverage of all these topics that practitioners or academics could pick up and learn about all the issues.”

Professor Dani’s book has filled a gap in the market and his book has been warmly received.  

In December 2015, ‘Food Supply Chain Management and Logistics’ received the prize for best book at an awards ceremony in Paris. 

‌One of the many areas he has investigated is that of food crime, a term coined in the UK in the wake of the 2013 scandal in which horsemeat was found in processed beef products.  The scandal led to a government probe.

Professor Dani also examined many case studies of international politics and tensions impinging on food supply - such as wheat production in Europe and Russia and a row over ‘killer cucumbers’ between Spain and Germany.

Although the book has academic value - and Professor Dani uses it in his own teaching at the University – it was written to be easily accessible to people working in the food industry.

Tries and Prejudice: Rugby star book goes global ahead of second publication

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READING: A follow up the book will be released later this year

READING: A follow up the book will be released later this year

As any rugby league player will know, the feeling of breaking through the opposition’s defence to score a try is one of the greatest experiences they can have on a playing field.

For Ikram Butt however, it wasn’t only the opposing 13-players he was looking to overcome, but a host of well established barriers that needed breaking down in the sport.

As the first British Asian player to represent England in any code of rugby, the 47-year-old pioneered the way for future generations to build a career in the action-packed game.

Twenty years on from his debut, he released his first book – ‘Tries and Prejudice’ in 2009, and now, ahead of another big year for the rugby advocate, he is looking to release a follow up.

“When writing a book with 12 chapters, you would think there would be a lot of room for all these memories, but when you break it down, you are actually quite limited,” he said.

RUGBY LEAGUE: Ikram Butt’s first book, ‘Tries and Prejudice’ is now available on Kindle

RUGBY LEAGUE: Ikram Butt’s first book, ‘Tries and Prejudice’ is now available on Kindle

“I’m lucky in a way that I am able to share even more experiences and recollections of challenges from my playing days and after retirement through the release of another book.

“I suppose you can say it’s a follow-up and it focuses on some of the gaps in the journey not covered in the previous publication and an account of memorable moments leading up to the present day.”

Ikram debuted for England’s Rugby League side in 1995, and enjoyed a successful club career with the likes of Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Rovers, Huddersfield Giants and London Broncos.

Today, he acts as the founder of the British Asian Rugby Association (BARA), works with the White Ribbon campaign as their sports campaign manager, and is nationally recognised as an influential Asian role model.

His first book examined the world of rugby from a previously unknown standpoint in the 90s, highlighting the need for awareness, education and a greater scope to attract young British Asian talent to local clubs.

Commenting on the progress rugby has made since those days, Ikram remains somewhat disappointed.

“The governing body are still struggling to engage with the Asian communities to break through the system,” he said.

“20 years on we are still facing the same problems we were in the past, so I would say any progress we have made has only been small.”

Speaking with his ‘BARA-hat on’, Ikram adds that he is continuing to knock on doors so that wider communities get involved with the sport.

“We are still looking for a breakthrough in the sport,” he said, “Through BARA we try to promote the sport as much as we can and present an opportunity for different communities to excel.

“By their own admission, top clubs are falling behind in their scope of young talent but BARA has been there for ten years and has been working to correct this trend.

“We have been approached by clubs and governing bodies, asking why they are struggling to interact with the ‘hard to reach communities’.

“We tell them every time that there is no such thing as ‘a hard to reach community’, they are simply using the wrong approach. The reality is, different people respond to different kinds of engagement.”

Ikram’s new book, the title of which is not yet confirmed, will be released in the not too distant future. It will be published by Scratching Shed with well respected journalist, Tony Hannam, who has decided to once again work alongside Ikram.

Meanwhile, ‘Tries and Prejudice’ has just been released on Kindle, giving a global audience the chance to read his unique journey in rugby league.


Discovering Bradford’s Mosques

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LAUNCH: The Mosque in the City book was launched earlier this week, pictured (l-r) President of Bradford Council for Mosques, Mohammed Rafiq Sehgal; The Mosque in the City author, George Sheeran; and Director for Community Development at Muslim Hands, Maqsood Ahmed

LAUNCH: The Mosque in the City book was launched earlier this week, pictured (l-r) President of Bradford Council for Mosques, Mohammed Rafiq Sehgal; The Mosque in the City author, George Sheeran; and Director for Community Development at Muslim Hands, Maqsood Ahmed

New book studies impact of ‘The Mosque in the City’

A new book, which takes a fascinating look at the impact of Islamic Mosque architecture on Bradford’s landscape was officially launched earlier this week.

People from all walks of life packed into the Khidmat Centre on Wednesday 9th December to hear Dr George Sheeran talk about his recently published book ‘The Mosque in the City’.

Jointly hosted by the Council for Mosques and the International UK based charity Muslim Hands, the event was warmly welcomed and looked at the changing face of the city,

Over the past 50 years, mosques in Bradford have evolved from small entities in terraced houses to large grand structures with domes and minarets, changing the City’s sky line.

Dr Sheeran’s book studies the impact this change has had on the local area whilst also discussing the cultural effects of Islam. The author also makes a historical comparison with other faith groups that have settled in Bradford.

Speaking about the evening and his motivation for writing the book, Dr Sheeran said: “It was an honour to have been invited by Bradford Council for Mosques and Muslim Hands to speak about the mosques in Bradford to what turned out to be a diverse audience.

“I have to admit, I was overwhelmed by the positive response and the depth of knowledge and interest.”

Dr Sheeran has been a senior lecturer at the University of Bradford where he has taught and researched architectural, urban and landscape history. He is currently an Honorary Visiting Post-Doctoral Fellow.

Mohammed Rafiq Sehgal, President of Bradford Council for Mosques, added his praise for the unique book.

“The book is a celebration of what we as a Muslim community have achieved and more importantly that this has been at the heart our community’s initiative and investment,” he said. “Something that I for one am very proud of.

“We are delighted that Dr Sheeran has kindly documented our legacy in the city”.

Maqsood Ahmed, Director for Community Development at Muslim Hands, added: “I sincerely hope that the likes of Dr Sheeran’s work will bring to the forefront a better understanding of the contribution to the life in the UK by the Muslim community in the form of Mosques.”

Competition time: For your chance to win a cop of ‘The Mosque in the City’, please answer the following question:

Who wrote The Mosque in the City?

  • George Orwell
  • George Sheeran

Send you answer, plus your name, address, and contact number, to

Deadline for entries is Tuesday 22nd December. Terms and Conditions apply.

Diary of a Lawyer

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WRITER: Goldie Millan penned her first book, the ‘Diary of a Lawyer’, after working in the law industry for almost two decades

WRITER: Goldie Millan penned her first book, the ‘Diary of a Lawyer’, after working in the law industry for almost two decades

‘Bringing mystery and glamour back into law’

A practicing solicitor has swapped her usual court documents for a nail-biting novel, as she released her first published book earlier this month.

Goldie Millan has been working in law for almost 20 years having earned her master’s degree from Cambridge University back in 1995.

Despite finding many successes in the field, it was writing that always intrigued the legal professional and now she has finally had the chance to achieve a lifelong aspiration with the release of her first book.

“I have always wanted to write a novel,” Goldie said, “but have never had the opportunity to do so before.

“In order to write a novel, you need to have the experience of life and the subject matter about which you write.

“I take on law students regularly for work placements and they all seem to have this glamorous idea of the law and Lawyers.

“I try to bring them back to reality by giving them tasks such as shredding to do. ‘Diary of a Lawyer’ was my way of bringing mystery and glamour back into Law.”

The ‘Diary of a Lawyer’ is set in Leeds and follows the main character, Liberty Deller, through her diary extracts.

After her father’s apparent suicide, Liberty is convinced that there is more to his death than what meets the eye and takes it upon herself to uncover the truth.

Training as a solicitor at her father’s former practice, she learns that all is not as it seems with a number of dark secrets lurking beneath the surface.

A mysterious book, left to Liberty in her father’s will also contains its own hidden truths and becomes ever more important than the young legal trainee could have ever imagined.

“My book tells the story of a young person’s struggle between right and wrong, integrity and dishonesty,” Goldie added.

“Her own life will be in danger and on many occasions she does not know what to do.  She turns to her father in her Diary to help her fit together the pieces of the puzzle behind his death.”

Despite working in a similar field to that of her main character, Goldie added that it had not been a straightforward task scripting the book but was now delighted to see the finished article.

“Writing the novel has certainly been a learning curve because you realise that it is hard work,” she said.

“It is about imagination and creativity and after spending all day reading legal textbooks and case law, it can be difficult to switch on the creativity cells.

“To have the finished book now is a great feeling.”

Diary of a Lawyer is available on Amazon or can be read for free on ‘Wattpad’.


INTERESTING: Based in Leeds, Diary of a Lawyer is an action-packed novel which is bound to delight mystery readers

INTERESTING: Based in Leeds, Diary of a Lawyer is an action-packed novel which is bound to delight mystery readers

Competition question:

For your chance to win a signed copy of Diary of a Lawyer, answer the following question:

How many years ago was the Magna Carta signed?


Closing date - Friday 10th April

Please send your entries to

with your name, address and contact number