25 February, 2017

A walk in a sculpture park - A Photo post

We visited a small town 'Loveland, CO' on a weekend to attend an annual festival known as 'Fire and Ice festival'. On the way to the festival, we covered a beautiful sculpture garden.

Beauty with style


A hell of a ride






















Benson Sculpture park is one of the 20 must see contemporary art sites across USA. It started to display unique sculptures since 1985.

Check this site for  more details on the address and timings of the park.

Here is a photo walk through

A vicious snake

Ringa Ringa Roses

Eagle King?

How natural?

Yeek! the Octopus

What a warm welcome

Elegant and poise

The Balancing Act


Until next time,

My trip to Adele by RI Alyaseer, AI Alyaseer - [Book Review]

Book Details:
Title: My trip to Adele
Authors: RI Alyaseer, AI Alyaseer
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Length of the book: 200 pages
Source: A free e-review copy from the author through onlinebookclub.org

Blurb:
An Adele concert held in Verona becomes the focus for an unhappy married couple, a divorced mother and a devoted lover from three different countries and cultures.

This is the story of three flawed but likeable people. First up is Elias, a Moroccan man living in Rome. He discovers that a black magic spell was cast upon him but starts to doubt whether it was the real cause of the break-up between him and his long-lost love Malika. He decides to search for her in the shadows of Marrakesh after eight years of separation. 


Nadia, a single mother from Jordan, is battling her ex-husband in the courts and doing all she can to secure freedom for herself and her only son. Her dream is to take her son to see his idol, Adele, live.
Finally, Yaser, a married man living in Las Vegas, realizes that his marriage is crawling all over him like a slow, painful death, so he starts to rebel against his wife. While faith initially brought them together, it is now causing them to drift apart. 


These three characters are on a journey to break free of everything that has haunted them, learning harsh truths about fate, religion, courage, desire and guilt along the way.



My Review:

The story is about 3 different people - a man searching for his love after 8 years, a lady with his son leading an independent life after divorcing her abusive husband and a couple trying to sort out their marriage problems are connected to a climax of their wish to attend a concert by a famous singer Adele. Even though this is a translated book to English, I didn't see any nativty issues to understand the story. I liked the way places and cultures are briefed in the story especially the Moroccan culture which is new to me.

I liked the story, it's different and sensible. The authors' writing style is easy to follow with proper emotions. The characterization is very good and all the three stories are unique. I liked Nadia more than anyone and the Author has expressed great views on marriage and relationships through her character. The character of Elias also touches our heart for his genuine love and the innocence of Malika seems amazing.

The cover of the book is average and I felt, it is not very appealing.

When it comes to the way all the stories are combined at the end, it is really written very well. The characterization is a plus for this book. I loved the way the author has moved between stories with ease without creating confusion to the readers. At the end, each story has a beautiful message.

I cannot pinpoint on what I don't like but the climax for malika's part is disappointing. I expected more clarity in the ending of Yasir's story.

My Rating : 3/ 4

PS: I have received the book from the author in exchange of a review and this is my honest opinion. 

Purchase link:

Until next time,


23 February, 2017

The Magician's Workshop - Book Spot Light

About the Books:



The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One


Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr

Published by:Wondertale, California

Publication Date: November 8, 2016

ISBN: 1-945353-11-2

ASIN: B01MQGHGBH

Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic

Ages: 12 and up.

Length: 85,000 words / 290 pages





Book Links:

Amazon * Goodreads



br />
Synopsis:

Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.



Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.



Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.



Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.







The Magician’s Workshop, Volume Two



Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr

Print Length: 273 pages

Publisher:Wondertale

Publication Date: November 22, 2016

ASIN: B01N988TW7

Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic

Ages: 12 and up.





Book Links:

Amazon * Goodreads





Synopsis:

Return to the world of The Magician’s Workshop: Where Dreams Become Reality.



In Volume Two, the Festival of Stars has finally arrived, and the Color Ceremony is about to commence. As children from all over the islands gather to stand before a puller, one question remains: who will have a Color, and who will be found void?



Rejoin your favorite characters as they step forward and receive a label that will have the power to dramatically alter the course of their lives forever.


About the Authors:



Christopher Hansen



The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.








J.R. Fehr

When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.







Contact the Authors:

Website * Facebook




Until next time,







22 February, 2017

5 lessons learned from Motherhood #MondayMommyMomments

Parenting teaches a lot. We learn and grow from our mistakes, right? So, every parenting journey presents some lessons with time.

Before I go into the lessons that I learned from Motherhood, I want to share this lovely quote. This is true! Don't you agree?


1. Be Flexible
Life with 2 kids is very unpredictable. Thank God, the elder one crossed the 5th year, else it would be a roller coaster ride. 

Since I love traveling and enjoy unexpected journeys, many a times I thought I will travel the same way with kids. But, we always have to tweak our plans a bit,  plan in more details about food, accommodation and travel breaks for rest. Travel is just one of those which needs to be customized as per child's moods. 

Going to a movie or to a park or to a tourist place or cancel the trip completely and take rest after running behind the kids and tired - It is better to be as flexible as we can. Initially, I used to be upset with the change of plans and get tired managing the cranky mood swings of kids. Now, I have backup plans to see that they are not hungry, bored or cranky. Now a days, I am happy to just read a story to them or make a craft together and relax in a weekend and less concerned about things not going my way.

2. Have Patience
I think, every parent of a toddler would agree that their patience levels are not enough to manage the naughty guy. As parents, we learn to have patience and control our tempers. Anyways, even if we shout at the little ones to not put everything in their mouth or stop running in a shopping mall, they don't oblige easily. Right? The only solution is to be calm, divert them and control the situation. 

This skill can never be taught but only be experienced, practiced and improved. What do you say?
Picture courtesy: www.pixabay.com

3. Seek Support
I am an independent woman and I love to sort out problems on my own without taking anyone's help. But, when it comes to kids, I prefer to take help from family and friends when it becomes unmanageable. Whether we are a stay at home mom or working mom, it's not easy to run behind a toddler, feeding and cleaning him on time and entertaining and teaching him good values.  Even though we tend to do all chores by ourselves, it's better to seek help from other family members and spouse instead of getting stressed with parenting 24/7. 

I learned not to feel shy to ask help from my parents and in laws when I need a break. Ofcourse, the support from spouse keeps me sane on weekends when I can get some time to relax from regular chores.


4. Enjoy the present
In this busy lifestyle, we rush every day - cooking, getting kids ready to school, feeding them, making them do homework, evening snacks, cleaning the house, laundry blah blah. I learned to take some time to enjoy the present. 

My younger one will soon start going to school. How much ever I hate running behind him to feed something and clean his mess, this age is never going to come again. Those sweet simple words with innocence can never be experienced after one more year when he will talk like an adult. He will grow up from those chubby cheeks, cute curls and lovely eyes to a school-going boy. I don't know if I get as much time to enjoy his laughs as I am getting now. 

So, I learned to cherish the present joyous moments and act naughty along with him.
Picture courtesy: pixabay.com

5. Don't forget 'Me' time
Initially, motherhood is stressful. Especially during breast feeding, sleepless nights when child is sick, cleaning the mess daily due to scattered toys, feeding the toddler for hours and hours while he doesn't even open his mouth and I feel damn hungry, when the kid bangs the bathroom door hundred times in 5 mins..etc., 

These were tough times when I had to forget my interests and sacrifice my blissful sleep. But, I realized, I cannot completely sacrifice the 'Me' time. This makes me more stressful.

If I had to get up 30 mins early to have a peaceful cup of coffee reading my favorite blogs or have to sacrifice my 30 mins sleep to read my favorite book or write my blog,  so be it. This is very much needed. I learned to take the advantage of  my toddler's afternoon nap to watch interesting movies or to read a book or just sleep. This made a lot of difference and I felt refreshed. 

So, these are a few lessons that parenting taught me. What about you? What have you learned from parenting?

Until next time,






Linking this to #MondayMommyMomments hosted by Amrita and Deepa.

Also, linking this to #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne.

#MondayMusings

21 February, 2017

A Way back into love by Veronica Thatcher- Release day blitz

~ Release Day Blitz ~
A Way Back Into Love by Veronica Thatcher
21st February, 2017






About the Book:



Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain.People, irrational. But love… Well, that makes complicates everything complicated. When you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned.

Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life is turned upside-down when she realizes she's in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home... to the man she left behind?







Book Links:

Goodreads * Paperback * eBook


Read an Excerpt:



Emily stepped back from him and shook her head. “Oh, you know damn well what I mean. You know what, Derek? I’m done having this conversation with you. I’m so done with this conversation and I’m so done with you,” Emily spat out angrily before brushing past him.



“Emily, wait,” Derek said, catching her by her arm. “Where are you going?”



Emily spun around and gave him a bitter look before looking down at his hand gripping her arm. “Leave my arm,” she said in a low yet threatening voice, “And why do you care where I’m going? It’s none of your business.”



Derek didn’t leave her arm in spite of her warning and said, “Em, you’ve had too many drinks. You can’t drive in this condition. I’ll drop you home.”



Emily jerked her arm free from his grasp and replied in a bitter voice, “Thank you, but no. I’m perfectly capable of getting myself home on my own. I don’t need you to drop me home. Do you get it, Derek Thorpe? I DON’T NEED YOU!” Emily yelled the last words, causing a few people to look their way.




About the Author:

Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them.  She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!

Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it. You can reach Veronica through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad and Gmail.



Contact the Author:


FB Page * FB Profile * Twitter * Wattpad





Until next time,








15 February, 2017

Around the world in 80 tales by Dave Tomlinson - [Book Review]

Book Details:
Title : Around the world in 80 tales
Author : Dave Tomlinson
Genre : Non Fiction, travel
Length of the book: 159 pages
Source: A free e-review copy from the author

Blurb :
80 Stories, 25 Countries, 5 Continents, One Heck of a Ride! 

Come with me on a journey of captivating true travel stories from around the world. This fascinating kaleidoscope of people, places, history, food and culture will inspire, amuse and even amaze. Experience the challenges, rewards and fun of budget travel without leaving home!


My Review:
What a lovely book for a travel enthusiast! It's a treat actually. All the tales related to different places in the world are not more than 2to 3 pages. While a few tales talk about the culture, people and place, there are a few tales which talk about the beauty of nature and weather. 

The author has taken utmost care to not bore the user and has shown a lot of variety in each tale. A few tales are very simple like explaining a trek and surroundings, whereas a few tales are complex giving details about the history of the place.If you love travel like me, you better keep a notepad with you as you might want to make a wishlist of places to visit in your life time. 

Being an Indian, I felt bad reading the experience of the author in Rajasthan, but we know about the level of corruption in India. I felt bad about the impression that we give to a foreigner on his visit. I loved the story of Angkor wat in Combodia, trekking in Australia, a beautiful island etc.,

I would recommend this to travel lovers for a light and informative read.

PS: I have received a free e-review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion on the book. My Rating:
5/5

Purchase Link:
Amazon

About the Author:
I'm originally from beautiful New Zealand and now live in Brisbane Australia. My passion is for travel, outdoor adventure and cultural understanding. I've now explored over 50 countries across 5 continents of the world. Apart from photography, I have used my love of travel to create my website and write two books. Travel Unravelled is a guide book for anyone wanting to travel the world on a budget and Around the World in 80 Tales is a collection of my unique experiences doing exactly that! 


Until next time,

08 February, 2017

A frozen fall and metal sculptures

I love waterfalls. I was amazed to watch Niagara in USA, Agsthiyaar falls near Tirunelveli, India and Abbey falls in Coorg, India. 

We visited 'Seven Falls' in Colorado Springs on a sunny day. Seven falls is privately owned and maintained by Broadmoor group and it is a series of seven cascading waterfalls. Even though we went on a sunny day, the South Cheyenne canon region is completely different. Since day light / sun rays cannot pass through the narrow road leading to Seven falls, it is freezingly cool. As expected, the waterfall is almost frozen. This is my first time to see a frozen fall and it is amazing. I think I will visit this place again in rainy season. 

There are around 224 steps to reach the top of the waterfall which is 181ft. There are rest areas in the middle to sit, enjoy the nature and capture the waterfall at various points of climb. It is difficult to climb those steps carrying a toddler, so we took the elevator to reach the top. Seven falls is only one waterfall in Colorado which is included in the National Geographic list of international waterfalls. But, the waterfall is a very thin line, not a gushing waterfall. This disappoints many of the tourists. 

Seven falls are usually lit in the evenings and I heard the lighting looks great. Broadmoor operates buses to the waterfall from Broadmoor hotel and back. There is a restaurant 1858 at the foot of the falls to indulge in great dining. 

On the way back from Seven falls, there is a house which has some great metal sculptures installed outside. Though it is a private property, we can watch those metal birds with big wings in motion from outside. 

So, that's how we spent one day at seven falls. 

Until next time,

06 February, 2017

Chameleon by Zoe Kalo - [Book Review]


Genre: YA/Gothic/Ghost/Multicultural
Word count: 55,000
Release date: February 2017

Premise:

Kicked out of school, 17-year old Paloma finds herself in an isolated convent in the tropical forests of 1970s Puerto Rico, where she must overcome her psychosis in order to help a spirit and unveil a killer.



Blurb:

An isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…

17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia. When, yet again, Paloma holds a séance in the hope of contacting her father, she awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. And then, the body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out…

Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions? 


My Review:

I expected this book to be great even before starting it as this my third book from the author. Here are my earlier book reviews from the author Zoe Kalo - Daughter of the Sun and Korean and Lucy

The story starts when Paloma, a teenager is expelled from school due to her behavior and lands up in a convent which has some dark secrets hidden inside it. As she gets acclimatized with the environment and start making friends, she learns about some secrets and murders. How she reveals the real character of her roommate and handles the mind games of the killer forms the remaining story. 

The author's writing style is easy to follow with a smooth flow between events. Even though we predict the killer after reading half of the book, the mystery element is maintained on he/she would have done it and why.The climax is fantastic.The pace of the book is perfect, neither fast nor slow.The title of the book is very apt, but I feel, the book cover can be better. There are some formatting and grammar errors in my ARC copy which bothered me a little. 

What I loved?

The mystery element, climax, characterization, pace, flow


What I didn't like?
  • A Specific scene is slightly confusing, where the author explains what happens when Paloma is drugged and a murder attempt happens on Adelita. 
  • Some formatting and editing mistakes


My Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author:
A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…

A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.

Connect 
with Zoe Kalo on the web: www.ZoeKalo.com / Facebook / Twitter

Until next time,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Feel free to give feedback :)