Smorgasbord Bookshelf – Summer Book Fair 2022 – #Romance Ritu Bhathal, #Mystery Lisette Brodey

Over the course of the summer months I will be sharing the recommended authors who feature in the Smorgasbord Bookshelf along with their books and a selected review.

The first book today is a lovely and engaging romance that I can recommend, Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal.

About the book

It all started ended with that box…

Aashi’s life was all set. Or so she thought.

Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.

But then Aashi found the empty condom box…

Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.

Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.

And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…

One of over 100 great reviews for the book

It was such an incredible new experience of a rainbow! I absolutely loved Aashi, Kiran, Bali, Sunny and Arjun’s journey from UK to India and back to UK. I have to say that I’ve been a fan of Bollywood since many years ago and thought I know a lot of Indian culture, traditions but what I didn’t know is that there were quite huge blank spots in my ‘knowledge’ that has been now filled with colours, smells, sounds, feels and taste of FOOD(!!!) of REAL India and Indians living both abroad and in India by talented author Ritu Bhathal and her first book Marriage Unarranged! Thank you, Ritu, for giving me this wonderful experience I so missed.

Clean romcom, amazing story, well developed and colourful characters, lots of humorous momments with giggles, history, culture and traditions. Loved how author merged modern tendencies with still strong traditional Indian culture both influencing younger generation.
I’m so glad knowing that there would be more books to enjoy!
Okay, now go and get your copy of this amazing book!!!

Read the reviews and buy the bookAmazon UK And: Amazon US

Also by Ritu Bhathal

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon UK  and : Amazon US- Blog: Ritu Bhathal WordPress Follow Ritu: Goodreads – Twitter: @RituBhathal

About Ritu Bhathal

Ritu was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was recently awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.

Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh.

The next book today is by Lisette Brodey…the mysterious The Waiting House: A Novel in Stories.

About the Book

From the author of Hotel Obscure

Once an opulent hotel for lovers of the Hollywood lifestyle, today the imposing building survives, somewhere, as an apartment house for those who wait. Not all know what they’re waiting for, but the residents live in flawed concert with those of undetermined existence, among relics of the past, as they wait for answers, for lost loved ones, and for purpose.

While the stories feature different characters, many of whom are recurring, each tale couples with its own unique reality … and is narrated by Conrad, the “grand master.” There is an overall story arc: part literary fiction, part Twilight Zone … both with a healthy dose of dark humor.

If you step inside, you’ll meet Ava Elisabeth, now in her 80s. After 40 years in Paris, she has returned. But why? Darah, the owner, is tormented by the sudden reappearance of her estranged mother, Millicent.

Kenny finds a way to overcome the despair of his missing wife. Fiona lives in the shadow of her once-famous, movie-star mother. Former Santa, Alejandro, punishes himself with solitude and sadness. A disturbed woman, Carolyn, waits for her TV prince to come. And Lee is tortured by random people who slide down walls near his fourth-floor apartment. Under the same roof, each soul has a different story … but all live in The Waiting House.

One of the reviews for the book

Anne Simone 5.0 out of 5 stars Erudite story-telling by a master!  Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2022

The Waiting House by Lisette Brodey is a character-driven story that covers, in exceptional prose, all who dwell between reality and fantasy. These connected narratives and intertwined tales are part dream world. Or perhaps the lodgers exist in a no man’s land—the structure that is the “waiting house.” Some are influenced by a hallucinatory condition and if you are of a delicate, sensitive, and empathetic nature, you might get spooked right along with them.

The author makes sure that you must continue reading, turning pages rapidly, to solve the intricate little mysteries, the connective tissue of each individual person and the whole story.

I wish to congratulate Brodey, an intellectual yet natural story-teller. She captivates fragments of the human condition and expresses them in a most unique setting.

I find this kind of novel structure the most difficult to manage, yet she does it with aplomb! The book is all-embracing and conjoins many genres: biography, memoir, magic realism, and in a sense “märchen” (or fantastic folk tale). Reading this is an inimitable experience and I recommend it wholeheartedly! 

Head over to buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

A selection of books by Lisette Brodey

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Lisette: Goodreads – Website/blog: Lisette Brodey – Twitter: @LisetteBrodey – Facebook: Lisette.Brodey

About Lisette Brodey

Lisette was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She spent ten years in New York City, and now resides in Los Angeles.

She’s a multi-genre author of nine novels and one short story collection: Crooked Moon (General/Literary Fiction); Squalor, New Mexico (Coming-of-Age/Literary Fiction); Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! (Women’s Fiction/romantic comedy), The Desert Series: Mystical High; Desert Star; and Drawn Apart (YA paranormal/magical realism), Barrie Hill Reunion (Literary Fiction); Hotel Obscure: A Collection of Short Stories (Literary Fiction), Love, Look Away (Women’s Fiction/romantic comedy), and The Sum of our Sorrows (Contemporary Fiction.)

In addition to her nine novels and one short story collection, two more of Lisette’s short stories are published in an anthology: Triptychs (Book 3, The Mind’s Eye Series.)


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with some books.


30 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Bookshelf – Summer Book Fair 2022 – #Romance Ritu Bhathal, #Mystery Lisette Brodey

  1. Thanks for sharing two more summer reads, Sally. I enjoyed Ritu’s Marriage Unarranged and look forward to her next one. And Lisette’s book sounds like a great read. I like these kinds of linked stories around a setting. Thanks for sharing and congrats to the authors on the great reviews.

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  2. Hi, Sally:

    What a lovely surprise … and an honor to share this page with two other wonderful authors. Thank you SO very much for your incredible support. So very appreciated.


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