26 April, 2017

Pokergeist by Michael Philip Cash - Book Promo


Paranormal


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Sometimes life, as well as death, is about second chances. Luckless Telly Martin doesn't have a clue. An awful gambler trying to scrape by as a professional poker player, he becomes the protégé of world famous poker champion Clutch Henderson. The only catch…Clutch is a ghost. Telly and Clutch must navigate the seedy gambling underbelly of Las Vegas learning to trust each other in order to win the elusive International Series of Poker, repair their shattered personal relationships and find redemption in this life and the hereafter.



“Another mainstay in a Michael Phillip Cash book, is the way he intertwines all of his characters in ways that boggle the mind. With surprises, twists and humor, he tells a story that keeps the reader guessing and interested until the very end. For such a short novel, there is a lot of meat in it and the writing is great. This is a fun read that entertains and pulls the reader into an alternative thinking. I would recommend Pokergeist to anyone that enjoys a bit of humor in your ghost story,…” – Open Book Society


“Pokergeist is a ghost story with depth, heart and grit. It follows a man who is basically good, timid and smart but loves poker and believes it’s the path to better things, mixed with a ghost who sees a second chance at that coveted bracelet and pursues it with a single minded purpose, and complicated by the love of a good woman who is wondering if Telly is still the man she fell in love with. Woven throughout this book is the story of real people in all their vices, darkness and passions. What redeems them are the good deeds, the integrity and the true love of Telly and Gretchen. This isn’t a fluffy book; it has teeth and it’s meaty, and it’s well worth spending time with.” – Long and Short Review


“Cash proves to be highly capable of juxtaposing the absurd and the mundane, creating a thoroughly enjoyable ghost story along the lines of The Canterville Ghost (1891) and Topper (1926)…Bet on this funny, well-written tale of second chances.” – Kirkus Review

  “The narrative moves at a good clip throughout, with a mix of snappy dialogue and brief but evocative description, as when early on Clutch notices that, ‘a chunky gold bracelet glittered from the nest of cash, looking like pirate plunder.’…Though the themes seem to shift as the narrative progresses, the novel will appeal to those looking for a thrilling glimpse into the glitzy world of poker, casinos and competition.” –  Stephanie Bucklin, Foreword Reviews 



About the Author


Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. His novels are best-sellers on Amazon under their genres – Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense, Ghost, Action Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror.
Michael writes full-time and lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wonderful wife and screaming children. You can follow him @michaelpcash.


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Until next time,

22 April, 2017

Planning a dinner date with husband and a toddler

The life of a parent changes a lot after pregnancy and childbirth. During pregnancy, while women enjoy the attention they get from the family and pampered well, the sacrifices of parents start from there. We women, take care of ourselves a lot during pregnancy, eat healthy food, try to be stress-free and happy. But, we avoid junk food and reduce outside food. Sometimes, even our hormones and mood doesn't help in dining at a restaurant with our beloved. After childbirth, the scenario is entirely different. Until the baby reaches 6 months of age, breastfeeding moms have a lot of food restrictions and they have to be available all around the clock to tend to the baby and take rest whenever possible. After 6 months, it is a tough time for moms, going back to the office(if, working), managing stress, introducing solid foods to toddlers and handling their tantrums. But, this is the right time for the couple to think about 'couple time'/ private time once again and plan dinner dates.
Picture Courtesy: Google image marked for non-commercial reuse

We too tried going on a dinner date with the little one by the side when he was 1 year old. But, it was not that great experience with kid banging on the table with plates and forks, making a mess on the table and sometimes even climbing on the table and crawling to the food. The experience was not pleasant and we could feel the harsh looks from other diners too.  As a parent, we learn from previous mistakes, experiment new methods, follow tips, understand kids better and grow up with them. These are some tips which helped us to keep our cool while dining with the toddler.
1. Selection of the restaurant
The selection of a right restaurant makes a hell lot of difference. If children love the place, they are less cranky and more observant. There are many themed restaurants these days in India like a rain forest environment with fountains and animals or a cave themed one or one with a beach environment or a restaurant with model trains or flights.  In US, anyways, a few restaurants have play areas inside so that children won't get bored. We choose a restaurant which is kid friendly. Kids might be interested in eating quick and playing, while we can keep an eye on them and have a cool talk. 
2. Choosing a right time
It's important that we choose a time to visit the restaurant when the toddler is not cranky. When kids are too hungry or too sleepy,  they start tantrums in any new place. I feed something to my toddler before we leave to the restaurant - at least a fruit or a cookie so that he won't be very hungry and also not full. We choose a time at least half an hour before his usual dinner/ lunch time. We always avoid the times when he usually sleeps.
3. Selecting a kid friendly starter
We always see to it that there is a kid friendly starter before main meal is served so that my toddler can munch and be comfortable in the restaurant. Carrot sticks in a dip or cucumber sticks or papad or nuggets or french fries are good to bring cheerful mood and reduce crankiness.
Picture courtesy: www.pixabay.com

4. Keeping cutlery away and choosing a proper seat
I think every parent agrees with me that fragile plates, glasses, spoons and forks should be kept away from toddlers. They play with these forks and glasses and there is a high possibility of breaking them or banging them on the table. If a restaurant provides high chairs specific for toddlers, it's great. Else, it is better to prefer a sofa seat and put them near the wall so that they cannot run the restaurant at their will. I prefer making my toddler sit near the side of the table so that it is easy to feed to him while we eat and it is also easy to keep all cutlery away. 
5. Backup plan if nothing else works
Whatever care we take, toddlers are unpredictable. I keep a backup plan like walking him around if he gets bored, showing some pictures on my phone or asking him to pose for a photo or asking him to identify vegetables and colors in the restaurant designs. Some restaurants in the US also provide crayons and coloring sheets which are a relief. We anyways know that we can show rhymes on youtube with low volume at worst case.
I wish you have a good dinner date with your spouse and toddler with peace following above tips. Please do let me know if any of these tips really help you. Also, I would love to know other tips and recommendations. 
Until next time,

19 April, 2017

Santino the Eternal by Sam JD Hunt - [Book Spot Light]


Paranormal Romance
Date Published:  3/28/2017

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Santino the Eternal has never craved the forbidden - until now. As a blood-thirsty serial killer hunts the glitzy streets of Las Vegas, Santino collides with a young college student - can she make it out alive?

Clara Denton’s life is flung into chaos when she discovers a drained corpse in a posh hotel room on the Strip. And as if her life wasn't already spiraling out of control, her reclusive boss has taken a disconcerting interest in her. Unable to resist the dark pull, she is drawn further and further into the murky world of the undead - as well as just the dead, too. When the handsome Matthew Hunter arrives with his sights set on Clara, she is thrown into one final eternal struggle of good versus evil.

Can love truly be eternal?


Excerpt

 “Be free, my darling,” he said to the languid corpse.
With the back of his hand, he wiped away the last drops of the precious nectar he’d drained from her fragile veins. “You have served me well.” He watched as the ghost of his young victim fled her empty body.
He felt crushing remorse that he’d killed her. Her death was kind, painless, and he needed her blood, he convinced himself as he glanced around the darkened hotel room. The warm fluid rushing through him caused the sensation of a post-orgasmic high—so similar was the feeling that he craved the cigarette he usually only smoked after sex.
“No, not here,” he said aloud to himself, his agile fingers placing the pack of cigarettes back into his designer suit coat.
The door to the hotel room opened—a swath of light from the hallway burned into his eyes and his hand instinctively reached up to shield himself from it.
A young housekeeper burst in, her eyes only glimpsing his form for seconds as he moved from the room with such preternatural swiftness that he was just a mere blur to her mortal eyes.
It was several more minutes before his perfected ears heard her scream in terror.

Chapter One
“C’mon, baby, don’t run out of gas on me now.”
Clara Denton reached over and turned off the air conditioning in her 1986 Ford Escort. The fuel needle, pointed at the letter E, seemed to mock her as she irrationally turned off the radio, as if those minor efforts would have any effect on the amount of gas her old car would burn on her way to work.
“One more mile,” she said aloud to the vehicle. “One more mile and I promise to feed you after work. I can’t be late again.”
In her worn Fossil hobo purse her last ten dollars sat crumpled. Clara hoped it would provide enough fuel to get her back and forth to school that week as well as to her job cleaning rooms at the newest and classiest hotel on the Las Vegas Strip—the Roman.
Her stomach growled as she flashed her employee badge and pulled into the dark parking structure at the rear of the sprawling resort hotel and casino. At the place she’d worked before the employee facilities, those parts the guests didn’t see, were austere. Here, however, even the employee parking garage was glamorous.
As she fled the car, terrified of punching in late again, she thought about how she’d never once seen the reclusive owner of the Roman—his name was Marchetti, she couldn’t recall if she knew his first name. She assumed he was Italian, and rumors floated around that he was handsome, in his thirties, but even though he lived in the sprawling penthouse suite, no one she knew had ever seen him.
Clara’s first three rooms were easy cleans, and in the second one she was able to nibble on an unopened bag of potato chips—she hadn’t eaten since the night before when her roommate, Landon Miller, brought home scavenged baked ziti from the pizzeria he waited tables at.
The fourth room of her shift, however, was the one that changed the course of her life forever. As she flipped on the lights and walked in with her cleaning basket—maids at the upscale Roman weren’t allowed to push carts into the rooms—she saw it. A foot poking out from the crisp white sheet of the king sized bed. “Oh, sorry ma’am, I thought the room was…” She felt a rush of cool air blast past her, maybe even the faint hint of smoke, and then she saw it.
The foot protruding from the Italian 800 thread count Frette linens was not an alive foot. It was ghastly white, the red painted toenails a grotesque contrast to the paleness of the skin. A prank, she thought as she approached it, waiting for something to jump out at her. The air in the room changed, became oddly stagnant, as she sheepishly tugged at the sheet. Clara heard herself scream, as if a bystander, as her body crumpled to the floor.
“The police,” she finally managed to mutter, as she reached for the phone on the mahogany desk. She stared at the phone, unable to remember how to get an outside line for several moments before deciding instead to press the button that was labeled Emergency.
Within minutes, several large men in dark suits blew into the room. One lifted her to her feet and asked if she was okay. As she nodded, he glanced at her nametag and said, “You may have the afternoon off, Clara. Thank you.” He turned to look at the body as the other men donned latex gloves.
“Uh, we should call the police. This is the serial killer. It’s got to be another of his victims—you know, the Blood Lust Killer.”
The dark suited man in charge flung his body toward hers, his hands braced on his hips. “I believe it’s time for you to go.”
“No. You can’t touch anything until Metro comes,” she argued, her voice fighting to sound strong. These men were tampering with a crime scene—her roommate, Landon, when not serving greasy pizza and pints of beer—was in the police academy. Clara had helped him study enough to know these men were breaking the law.
“Steven, please escort the former employee from the premises.” He turned to face her once more, and with a sneer said, “We’ll mail your final paycheck. Your services here at the Roman are no longer required.”
She stood in shock, unable to process the dramatic turn that afternoon had taken. “You’re firing me?” she finally choked out through her tears. The man never answered her, and she followed him to the central housekeeping department to return her uniform. The dark-suited stoic presence stood outside the changing room and walked her to her car, reminding her that security cameras would watch her exit the grounds of the casino.
In her hot car, with guards staring at her, she reached for her cell phone. Despite the glare of the suited Steven approaching her, she dialed 911 and switched it to speaker as she sped down the exit ramp. “Yes, at the Roman,” she clarified to the dispatcher. “Room 80231—she was bloodless! White as a ghost.” She paused as the dispatcher read back the information, then as Clara began to ask about the serial killer her phone went dead. Damnit! Out of minutes!
Moments later, she was fighting her way through traffic. “That jerk-off, how dare he fire me,” she hissed into her empty car as she battled the throng of cabs down the small section of Las Vegas Boulevard that was known as the Strip. In shock, fuming and terrified, she barely remembered to make her left on Flamingo when her car started to sputter. “Not the transmission again,” she groaned before her eyes set on the fuel gauge. “Shit!” She covered her mouth with her hand—Clara rarely swore, and when she did, she shocked even herself. “I forgot to get gas!”
*****
Flamingo was his least favorite place to drive. Stop after stop, he could rarely pick up the kind of speed he craved. When finally he was able to swoop around yet another annoying billboard truck, his designer-shod foot mashed the accelerator down as hard as he could. The Maserati lurched, pressing him back into the buttery leather seats that had been custom made to fit his tall, lean body. And then he nearly ran over her.
She fell backward into her battered old car, smashing into the dented frame and falling face down onto the dirty black pavement of Flamingo Road. “Fuck,” he howled, the nimble car coming to a screeching stop as those behind him blew their horns and struggled to maneuver around him. He was able to stop his car at the side of the busy road, in front of the small frame of a young woman lying in the street.
“I didn’t hit you, Miss, did I?” He sprang from his car toward her. She’s moving, that’s good, he thought as she placed her palms on the pavement, pushing her lean frame up.
“Um, no, I just, I thought you were going to hit me, I jumped and tripped.”
“That is a relief,” he sighed. He reached for her hand and helped her to her feet.
“I-I’m fine now,” she said with a quick tug of her hand to remove it from his. But he couldn’t let go. He held onto her hand as a sensation so foreign, so odd, washed over him.
“Well, thank you for even stopping,” she said with a smile, tugging her hand from his once more. This time he let her soft hand fall from his, but he continued to look into her eyes. They were brown, chocolate brown, he thought. She was young, twenty-one was the number that popped into his head as he stared at her mutely.
She ran her hand through her hair as she turned to face her car. “Do you need me to call a car service for you?” he asked as she lifted the rear hatch and pulled out a red gas can. “No, thank you, I’m out of gas. It’s only a few blocks to the station.”
“I would never let you do that. Please, I’ll drive you.”
She stared at the car—clearly he was a rich businessman, a local, and, she had to admit, breathtakingly handsome. But still, she was no idiot. She wasn’t going to get into his car, or any stranger’s car, with a blood-sucking serial killer roaming Las Vegas murdering young women. “I’m fine, I’ll walk.” She took a few steps and heard him speak again.
“No, Miss, you will not. I cannot let you do that.”
“Let me?” She spun around and glared at him, empowered by the safety of the heavy traffic swirling around them like angry hornets.
He held up his hands in apology. “I didn’t mean it like that, I’m sorry. What I meant was it would be ungentlemanly of me. I can call road service, or perhaps go retrieve your gas for you while you wait in the air conditioning of my car?”
“I’m sorry to snap. I’ve had a terrible day. I was fired from my job and, well, it’s just been a rough one. I’d rather walk than wait, but thank you.” She set off again, with the man only steps behind her.
He caught up to her, his suit coat removed and tossed over one arm in the oppressive heat of summer in Las Vegas. “My name is Santino, by the way, and it is a pleasure to meet you, despite the circumstances of our introduction,” he said, positioning himself between the heavy street traffic and the young woman. “Miss…?”
“Clara Denton,” she answered with a smile. This drop-dead gorgeous rich guy is also a gentleman, she thought as he reached to carry the gas can.
At the gas station, his phone buzzed. With a quick glance at it, he looked to Clara. “I’m sorry, I have to take this. I apologize for my rudeness.” She nodded as he walked to the side of the gas station.
“Wait until I tell Landon about this guy,” she said under her breath as she walked into the building to prepay for the gas.
Walking out, can in hand, the man, Santino, had his back to her. He was talking into his phone. She could hear him as she walked by toward the pumps. “Yes, Don, you did the right thing to have it cleaned. A mess like that in my home I would never tolerate.”
Too bad he’s a neat freak, she thought as she pumped the gas into the can, not that it matters.
*****
An hour later, Clara was back in her apartment digging through her empty refrigerator. “No one ever buys milk,” she said to the empty apartment. The foil pan of leftovers was the only palatable food she could find, so she finished it off while working on her paper for class the next morning. Her third year at UNLV was going well academically—she was a top student in the English Department, but financially she was in trouble. Student loans were piling up, and her passion was literature rather than a career field that would result in a lucrative job. Even if she taught, she knew her living conditions would be austere at best for the next decade.
As she looked at the research she’d done on a Word document on her MacBook, a spoonful of greasy baked ziti perched at her lips, there was a knocking at the thin door. “Landon, take your key once in a while,” she shouted toward the door.
But Landon was not at the door. As she opened it, four members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, or Metro as it was referred to locally, stood there. “Oh come on in,” she said. The police are finally here about the dead body, she thought.
“We had a report of a crime from a resident at this address—a Clara Denton. Is that you?”
She nodded in relief. “Yeah, that’s me. Is she related to the serial murders?”
“She?” The suited detective looked at his notes before making eye contact with Clara again. They followed her inside.
“The woman—the dead body I found at work today.”
“Miss Denton, there was no body at the Roman. Not at the room number you reported, or any other room. Have you been following news coverage of the killings?”
“Well yes, but—wait a minute, there was a body, drained looking, white. The head of security and a few other men saw it, too.”
“Miss Denton, I understand the stress you’ve been under. However, calling 911 with a made up story is a serious crime. If we chased every baseless tip we’d be—”
“Baseless? I saw her!”
“You were fired today, were you not?”
“Well, yeah, because I insisted they call the police.”
“According to management at the casino, you were fired for being late too many times. As you were leaving the resort premises, you called 911 from your prepaid cellphone and made up a story about finding a body in order to inconvenience the hotel.”
Clara shook her head, the blood draining from her face. Was this really happening?
*****
Santino paced on the priceless rug that graced the polished marble floors of his penthouse suite high atop the Roman. His trusted head of security, Donovan Salerno, sat on the cognac leather wingback chair and glanced over the notes in his small notebook. The afternoon had been stressful, but Don thought he’d done well.
“And the maid? She won’t talk? Let’s make her happy,” Santino said as he rubbed his stubbly chin.
“Well, sir, we fired her, it was necessary that—”
“What the fuck did you just say? You fired her?”
Donovan took a deep breath and willed himself to stay calm. The boss was mad—deadly mad. He stood up and explained. “She demanded we call the police. That one, she was too smart. That young chick wasn’t like the Mexican maids that most—”
“I swear to God that if you say one ignorant bigoted thing you will regret it for the rest of your short life.” Santino had no tolerance for small-mindedness.
“Um, no, it’s just this housekeeper was not going to be deterred from alerting Metro to the mess in your house, sir.”
“So now she’s out there, with no loyalty whatsoever to us, no incentive to stay silent. That is a problem, Don.”
“Yes, sir. We’ll take care of her. I apologize for letting her go.”
“I don’t want her harmed, I merely want her silent. What is her name?”
Santino’s pale eyes focused on the man as he stopped his pacing. The words his head of security spoke caused him to grow cold, colder than his usual soulless body.
“Clara Denton.”

 About the Author




Sam JD Hunt resides in Las Vegas with her husband, the inspiration for the young Thomas Hunt character, as well as her two children. Her debut trilogy, The Thomas Hunt Series, put a fun and unique spin on the popular BDSM genre. She followed up with the highly successful DEEP: A Captive Tale--a dark BDSM erotic captor/captive story about a pirate and his lady that spans time and space. Her fourth novel, the full-length standalone The Hunt for Eros is an erotic art adventure that combines spicy romance with a cultural adventure based on true life events. It has been described as being like The Da Vinci Code, but with lots of heat added.
Hunt's next release was co-written with her husband. Dagger: American Fighter Pilot is a steamy contemporary romance, which follows a squadron of fighter pilots as part of the American Fighter Pilot read-in-any-order series. Following the release of Dagger, Hunt released the much-anticipated MMF/Bi/Ménage erotic adventure, Taken by Two and then its sequel, Torn from Two. Next, Hunt plans to release DEEPER: Capture of the Virgin Bride as a follow-up to DEEP. When not writing, Hunt enjoys travel, community involvement, spending time with friends and family, and hiking. She spends her days writing and trying to answer the age-old question: is it too late for coffee or too early for wine?




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Until next time,

An Adventurous Night by Ronald M James




Mystery, Detective
Date Published: March 2017

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When Sammy Shovel sinks his teeth into a case—he gets to the bottom of it— no matter how many bullets are flying at him.


Private Investigator, Sammy Shovel, is short, slightly overweight, balding, and he dresses like San Francisco’s most squalid street people.


When a supposed heist falls into his lap, Sammy jumps at the chance to make a few bucks, from an unknown victim, by stopping what appears to be a simple robbery. However, the case turns out to be different than anything he’s taken on since the death of his partner.


Sammy finds himself speeding through streets of San Francisco to head off another senseless murder. The events that follow are beyond his comprehension, and will change his perception of crime forever.


The victim may not be as evil as it seems, but rather—a casualty of circumstances.


About the Author






Ronald M. James was born during the great depression, and as a toddler watched WPA men build a new street, from his home’s big front window. His playmates were a red rider wagon, a small black satchel and rocks. By using his imagination he had conversations with mythical street workers that bloomed into fashioned fantasies by age four. He used cardboard boxes to create fun spaces for his neighborhood playmates to enjoy and he kept telling stories all through high school. In college he abandoned writing and studied architecture. James had a successful architectural career and retired, however he wanted to keep his creative juices fluent, so he returned to his childhood story telling days and joined a writers group. Like architecture, each day he couldn’t wait to create, finish, and start new stories—like this one, An Adventurous Night.

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Until next time,

3 Quick and healthy snacks for kids #MondayMommyMomments

As parents, we love to provide homemade healthy snacks to our kids. But, it is difficult to spend more time on preparing a snack. For someone like me who doesn't enjoy cooking, the preparation time should be short.  Here are 3 quick healthy snacks that I prefer to prepare any day which of course my kids love.

1. Chana chaat
Sometimes, it's better to look our traditional recipes when we think of a snack. White chickpeas are good for fiber and protein. Here is the quick recipe which takes no more than 10 mins if you have boiled chickpeas ready.

Ingredients:
Boiled chickpeas - 1 cup
small onion - 1  (chopped)
Garlic pods - 2 (minced)
Green chilli - 1 (chopped)
Small Tomato - 1 (chopped)
Lemon - half slice
Salt, chilli powder
Corriander leaves
cumin seeds - 1/2 spoon
Olive oil- 1spoon
mustard seeds - 1/4 spoon
urad dal - 1/2 spoon

Process:
1. Keep 1 cup of chickpeas ready after boiling and draining water.
2. In a pan, add one spoon of olive oil, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, urad dal and let them splutter.
3. Add minced garlic and green chilli. After they are fried slightly, add chopped onions. Saute for a few mins.
4. After onions turn pale, add chopped tomato pieces, add salt and chilli powder. Cover the lid and let it cook on low flame for a few minutes until tomato becomes mushy.
5.Add boiled chickpeas, cook on low heat with lid covered. Add chopped coriander leaves, squeeze half a lemon. Check for salt and spice and add as per the requirement.

2. Boiled sweet corn
This is a breeze to prepare and my kids always love it. There is no preparation as such. I boil sweet corn for 10 to 20 mins in water, strain them after they are cooked, add salt and pepper and serve.

3. Carrot muffins
Usually, all kids love muffins. So, this would be a favorite at your home for sure. I used whole wheat instead of all-purpose flour to make it healthy. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
Whole wheat flour -1/2cup
Eggs - 3
Butter - 100gm/ half cup
Sugar - half cup
Grated carrot - 1 and a half carrots
salt - a pinch
baking powder - 1/4th spoon
vanilla extract - 3 to 4 drops

Procedure:
1. Mix butter and sugar in a bowl well until sugar is dissolved.
2. In a separate bowl, beat 3 eggs with vanilla extract until it becomes pale and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs mixture to butter gradually(not all mixture at once)
4. In a separate bowl, add wheat flour with salt, baking powder and mix it with grated carrot until it is evenly mixed.
5. Now, add egg and butter mixture to flour until it's smooth. No need to beat but we have to fold like we do for a cake batter.
6. Pour this muffin mixture into cupcake molds. Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit and then bake these muffin for 20 mins.

Source : Vahchef video


So, how did you like these recipes? Excuse me if instructions are not very clear as I am not used to writing cooking recipes on my blog :-)

Until next time,







Linking this to #MondayMommyMomments hosted by Deepa and Amrita


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15 April, 2017

A Gemini, that's what I am #FridayReflections

I never believed in Astrology until around 11 years ago when I started working. Once, when I accidently read about the Sun signs and the behavior traits, I was more than impressed. I started observing the traits of friends and easily identifying their zodiac signs. Even though we cannot predict future or guess someone's personality, the general traits of a zodiac sign are helpful. So, here is the prompt that made me think about this subject.

What’s your star sign? Does it reflect your personality?

Gemini traits. Expressive and quick-witted, Gemini represents two different personalities in one and you will never be sure which one you will face. They are sociable, communicative and ready for fun, with a tendency to suddenly get serious, thoughtful and restless.
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There are a few key characteristics of a Gemini which I can relate to.



  • multi-talented
  • Thinker
  • Diverse interests
  • Loves variety
  • Trustworthy
  • Emotionally hard to reach
  • Overconfident
I love change and I am adaptable to different circumstances pretty quick. Almost all websites confirm this trait of a pure Gemini and it is 100% true in my case.

I love the variety and my skills are very diverse. Sometimes I enjoy writing, reading and being at home without social connect whereas, sometimes I want to be outgoing, meet people, make friends and meet strangers. This might be the dual personality which is also a key characteristic. 

When it comes to the negative side, I am overconfident most of the times and don't see my negatives in magnifier. I listen to my friends and family but take decisions on my own only if I really think, I am right. In school days, I was too confident to listen to my critics with an open heart. 

One trait which is both positive and negative for me is being emotionally hard to reach by others. Even though I am social and talk to everyone in a pleasing manner, I don't make friends easily and share my personal feelings. But, when I trust someone and choose them to be my best friend, I don't lose them.

Many websites talk about other negatives like Geminis being manipulative, inconsistent and restless. I cannot relate to these traits though I like to be inconsistent. I am organized from childhood and somehow, I feel now that I might not have been that organized and consistent. It's very rare to me to be restless and manipulative. 

That is about me and my opinion on Gemini traits. Do you believe in zodiac too?

Ps: By the way, my spouse's sun sign is least compatible with Gemini though we rock together :-) 

Until next time,






Linking this to #FridayReflections hosted by Corinne and Sanch


The Bearded Prince by Rajesh Talwar - [Book Review]

Book Details:
Title: The Bearded Prince
Author: Rajesh Talwar
Genre: Historical fiction
Length of the book: 82 pages
Source: A free e-review copy from the author through book r3vi3w tours

Blurb:
After much persuasion, Princess Roopali, ‘the beautiful one’, agrees to have a swayamvara. This is an ancient Indian ceremony in which an unmarried girl who has come of age chooses a husband from among several suitors. According to the tradition, at the end of the ceremony, the princess is required to place a marigold garland around the neck of the prince she has decided to marry. She is happy to meet with all the princes who will attend the ceremony, and are keen to be chosen by her. She explains to her parents, the king and queen that she does not, however, wish to meet anyone with a beard. Over the past few years there have been a string of armed robberies by a gang of tough-looking bearded thugs. The princess has come to dislike beards. Her father, the king, explains to her that it would be discourteous for them not to extend an invitation to any eligible prince, but he would be surprised if any of them still sported a beard. Will Princess Roopali find the prince of her dreams? A delightful tale set in Ancient India the story provides a window into an exotic culture and will appeal to children from all age groups – particularly those from the ages of five to one hundred.

Goodreads
Amazon


My Review:
This is a short story of princess Roopali and her swayamvara. The author also explained in prolog about this tradition of selecting a suitor for her marriage by princess itself.

The characterization is good and the readers have the dilemma until the end about who will be right for the princess and whom she will choose and why.


All the characters are introduced slowly giving time to understand each prince from their behavior. The author also ensured that non-Indian readers understand the swayamvara tradition completely. I felt bored with a few details on preparations of swayamvara which I had to skip. In the middle, I felt the story is dragged to some extent. It's a pretty quick read without any twists in the story. Overall, a good read to pass time.

My Rating: 4/5

Ps: I have received a free e-review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review and this is my unbiased opinion on the book.

About the Author:
While working for the United Nations, the author has lived in different places, some of them difficult like Afghanistan, Liberia, and Somalia, so he can perhaps justifiably claim to have seen a bit of life. He has written fifteen odd books, some fiction, others non-fiction, the details of which together with published reviews are listed at his website www.rajeshtalwar.com and more recently at http://redroom.com/member/rajesh-talwar. His second novel on Afghanistan titled 'The Sentimental Terrorist' is available on Amazon in paperback as well as in a downloadable Kindle version.

Until next time,

13 April, 2017

Tiago by Catia Skye - Book Spot Light and Give Away


~ $25 Amazon Voucher Giveaway ~

Tiago, by Cátia Skye, YA Contemporary Romance

Two shattered hearts. One unstoppable love.

Nominate Tiago, by debut YA Romance author Cátia Skye, for consideration by Kindle Scout and you could win a $25 Amazon Gift Voucher, and you could get to read the book for free! Scroll down for excerpts, blurb, author info and, of course, the giveaway!
Tiago, by Cátia Skye, Book Cover


New York, USA

Kezra, sixteen, dumped by her boyfriend of six months after he took her virginity, shocked by revelations about her father, falls into an abyss of panic and anxiety. On doctor's orders, she is sent on a vacation to get away from pressures.
Lisbon, Portugal

Tiago, seventeen, has lost more than most lose in a lifetime, believes implicitly in the inevitable Portuguese Tragedy, has left the thug-life, has left school, is just trying to survive each new day.
Neither of them is looking for love…

Categories:
  • Teen & Young Adult > Romance > Contemporary
  • Romance > Series
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Coming of Age
  • Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Europe

Excerpts

Kezra

The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

I am no looker.
I'm not a dog either. But I am no looker.
Aylin used to say I was precocious. "Precocious when it comes to boys," she'd say.
By the time I was done dating Conor, I said I was nothing but a fool.
I started dating too early. Antoni was the first guy I ever saw. I was fourteen, close to fifteen, sporting braces on my teeth. We shared a kiss, nothing passionate, innocent.
Until he touched my breasts and I went cold.
Fourteen. Was he a freaking idiot?
Dawson happened after that. It lasted three months. I was more grown up, more developed. My breasts, especially, were more developed.
I hate my breasts.
But it was Conor who would thrust me into the black world of adulthood with an indignant slap I am certain I will never forget.

~~~

I write because I am lonely.
I write because I hurt.
I write while tears drip from my eyes, turning the screen of my tablet into splotches of pixelated rainbows.

~~~

The way I was brought into this world has nothing to do with how I feel about love.
It has everything to do with how I feel about myself.

~~~

How much horror can a mind endure?
Are the pains of a sixteen-year-old laughed at by those older then her?
What pain did my mother suffer? ("Sometimes I went without food so that I wouldn't have to take that bastard's money, Kez.")
My pain is nothing compared to what hers must have been. And yet, the pain I feel is phenomenal.

Tiago

P.S. I Love You (2007)

Just before the sun rises, when the world is silent and the River Tejo laps gently at the stone steps leading to the giant Praça do Comércio square, leaves of golden sunlight shimmer above the surface of Lisbon's great river. This is my favorite time to sit on these steps, flicking stones into the water, letting my gaze drift west toward the ocean.
And I think of her.
I do not weep anymore. My eyes are dry. I have wept this entire river twice over and still that will not bring her back.
The seagulls taunt me, cawing in accusation. I should have moved faster, they say. I should not have been so complacent with my joy.
I never deserved that joy. I know it.

Tiago

Deadly is the Female (1950)

It is the week for meeting Americans. And if I thought my encounter with Dahlia went bad, then I can only compare my meeting with the one called Kezra to something just short of a nuclear war. It's my fault, mostly. But it's also her fault.
I would love to say that our first encounter is quaint and sweet, that it is the type of first-meeting you expect from a Rom-Com.
It is not.
It is a disaster.
And I am nothing short of a hungover bastard.
But let's call a spade a spade. Guilt must be placed where guilt belongs. And this chick is a real stinker of a piece of work too.
I guess you could say I started it.
I did.
But she contributes gladly to the atomic chain reaction which follows.
Dare I say, I think she even revels in it.
Copyright © 2017, Cátia Skye. All Rights Reserved.

Giveaway!

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About Cátia

Cátia Skye Avatar
Cátia Skye is a New-York-born, Portuguese-American gal who now resides in the romantic heart of Lisbon, Portugal. She is the single mother of one rambunctious little boy, and pens romance novels between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. each night when her boy finally falls asleep.
Tiago is her first novel.
Visit Cátia's Website

Until next time,

12 April, 2017

Mama's Knight by Aurora Whittet - [Book Review]

Book Description:

Once upon a time . . . It’s how all heroes begin their story, and you’re a hero, too! Your mama has cancer, and it’s a scary journey, but you can help your mama just by being you—special, wonderful, YOU. Your mama loves you just the way you are. You are your mama’s knight.

Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love is an emotional toolbox that can help kids and parents communicate about what it means for Mama to have cancer. The book is filled with tools and activities designed to make coping with illness easier on both parent and child, and can be personalized for each child.

Buy the Book:  Author's Website

My Review:
Cancer is a dreaded word for any person. For a parent, it is still tougher as he/ she cannot imagine how their family and children will get impacted by their ill health. This book is a support and aid for cancer survivors and their families.

First of all, I was amazed when I read the book blurb. I appreciate the author as she took a very sensitive subject and created a story for young children which is positive.

Did you ever think, how a parent who is a cancer patient will reveal about her health to their children? How he/ she might feel when they are going through pain themselves and have to take care of kids also? How they can give information to young children in a way they understand at the same time doesn't panic about treatment and disease symptoms? Can the young children understand this properly? How the kids might feel to see her mother's bald head after the treatment and will they be confused to see her mother tired whole day instead of running behind them to play? This book is an answer to all these questions. This is to prepare their children that it is like any other disease which has to be fought by taking proper treatment. The final message is that love wins always and it gives strength to fight anything in this world. How sweet :-)

The book covers the treatment options for cancer(a brief explanation), the symptoms, the impact, the mood swings of a patient while taking the treatment etc., This book also covers the activities that a parent can do with children even while taking rest. There are some fun activities listed in the book and the author gave a link to find out more about the activities on the web. This book is interactive with space to write children's name and stick their family photos.

Overall, it is a very inspiring and informative book. I recommend this book to children above 6 years of age. 

My Rating: 4.5/5

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

Author's Bio:

Aurora Whittet started out as a wild red-haired girl in Minnesota dreaming up stories for her friends to read. Today, she has completed Bloodmark, Bloodrealms, and Bloodmoon of the Bloodmark Saga trilogy and started her journey into children’s books with Mama’s Knight in honor of her own mother who lost her battle with cancer. She’s a national award-winning graphic designer and birth doula in her day jobs. Aurora lives with her family in Minnesota.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Giveaway:​

Win a signed copy of Mama's Knight: A Cancer Story of Love (USA only - 5 winners total)
Ends April 29


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Until next time,







11 April, 2017

Remnants by Carolyn Arnold - [Book Review]


Book Title: REMNANTS
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Series: Brandon Fisher FBI series, Book 6

Published by: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.
ISBN (e-book): 978-1-988353-49-4
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-988353-50-0
ISBN (hardcover): 978-1-988353-51-7

ASIN: B01MUAA8JL


260 pages

Blurb

All that remains are whispers of the past…

When multiple body parts are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River in Savannah, Georgia, local law enforcement calls in FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team to investigate. But with the remains pointing to three separate victims, this isn’t proving to be an open-and-shut case.

With no quick means of identifying the victims, building a profile of this serial killer is proving more challenging than usual. How is the killer picking these victims? Why are their limbs being severed and bodies mutilated? And what is it about them that is triggering this killer to murder?

The questions compound as the body count continues to rise, and when a torso painted blue and missing its heart is found, the case takes an even darker turn. But this is only the beginning, and these new leads draw the FBI into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is clear, though: the killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it all out. And they are running out of time…

My Review

It's been a long time I have read a detective story though my love for books started from a detective novel 'Sherlock Holmes'. 


Remnants is a story about the investigation of a serial killer in Savannah, Georgia. Brandon Fisher, our hero detective along with his team work to find out more details about the killer and his motives. One creepy thing about the crime is that it is even difficult to identify victims when the investigation team finds only organs cut and dumped in a river separately. The team has to find out the killer, victims, and even the motive. So, basically, the case starts from nothing.


I haven't read earlier books in the Brandon Fisher FBI series, but I loved this book a lot. This can be read as a stand alone. It is a perfect thriller and on the edge mystery. I loved the way the suspense is maintained throughout. Since the author is already a best seller writer, I expected a good read and I am not disappointed. The pace is good for a thriller. The story has enough twists and turns and the author lets us imagine and guess the next move though the story takes unexpected turns. I liked the or writing style which is casual without dragging storyline.


Overall, a perfect thriller ride if you love murder mysteries. Go for it :-)

My Rating:
4.5/5

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

Purchase Links


CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters

Until next time,

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