Nineteen-year-old Shama lives something of a charmed existence, indulged by her comfortably off parents, who are second-generation Pakistani immigrants, and enjoying university life.
Balancing the lifestyle of her Western friends with the strict cultural traditions upheld by her parents is rarely a challenge, as she flits between her weekdays on campus and weekends at home. However, her world is turned upside down when she is invited to accompany her mother on a trip to Pakistan and introduced to the handsome Saleem, a charming, educated acquaintance of her extended family.
Caught up in a whirlwind romance thousands of miles from home, Shama suddenly finds herself facing a very different future from the one she anticipated – a future that when contemplated, triggers a rollercoaster of emotions in the naive teenager, ranging from excitement to fear, and puts her very survival at risk.
Born in Lancashire, UK, Shahida Ahmed is a third-generation British-Asian, multimedia artist, creative director, educator and art consultant who has long loved entertaining her friends by telling them stories. “My friends were always encouraging me to write a book and, in the end, I decided to take them up on their dare,” she says.
Shahida holds a BA in Visual Arts from University of Leeds and a BA (Hons) in Art and Design from University of Bradford. She gained a scholarship for an MA in Traditional Islamic Arts from the Royal College of Art, London, MA in Community Leadership from the University of Central Lancashire and an MA in Visual Arts from the University of Bradford, along with several other professional qualifications. Shahida currently divides her time between the UK and Qatar, where she lives and works. Throughout her career she has believed that art and creativity is a diverse form of dialogue that brings communities together. Although English was Shahida's second language, she followed her passion and wrote secretly, following her heart and having the right people around her enabled her to believe that anything is possible.