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:

Purchase Link:

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


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.


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.

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

Until next time,

01 February, 2017

Lessons from a difficult person by Sarah Elliston - Guest Post and GiveAway

Book Description:

Elliston is a highly successful workshop leader and trainer, who offers wisdom learned the hard way—by experience – as well as through rigorous study and certification in many areas of professional training that aid her in her work -- Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. She is a faculty member of the William Glasser Institute. Glasser is an internationally recognized psychiatrist and developer of Reality Therapy, a method of psychotherapy that teaches people they have a choice in how they choose to behave.

The methods Elliston offers in her book end the trauma and the drama, and minimize the possibility of confrontation. She gives YOU, the reader, the ability to take a strong, positive, confident—yet compassionate--stance with the “difficult person”—whether that is a relative, coworker, friend, one of your children or anyone else for that matter.

Elliston demonstrates how to:

• Identify the ways to talk to a “difficult” person
• Incorporate true incentives to help people change
• Make real the consequences of the “difficult” person’s action
• Increase success through acceptance and belonging
• Avoid being triggered by the “difficult” person allowing you to neutralize those hot buttons and communicate without judgment

Elliston lays out a proven script for peacefully transforming the difficult person’s behavior and the environment. She gives you the tools for successfully initiating and engaging in a conversation with a difficult person that would lead to change.

Guest post from the Author:

The Agony of Boundaries

I recently enjoyed a meal with my friend Don, who came to me with a story of difficulty with his girlfriend Angie. They have been together ten years.They are close, intimate, and share most weekends together.They participate in events together with each other’s families,on holidays, and at social events.Both have been married and don’t want to be again but have made a commitment to each other.

Angie has an ex-husband who slides in and out of her life.Don watches her agonize over her ex-husband’s ailments and inability to manage his life.Don is supportive when she takes him meals and when she supports him financially.Don cares enough about Angieand the strength of their relationship that he works at not requiring her to change.In Loving What Is, Byron Katie calls this “staying out of her business.”It is having clear boundaries.  It is an important part of learning to deal with a difficult person in my book, Lessons from a Difficult Person; How to Deal With People Like us.

Recently, as they discussed another changed plan due to the ex, Angie said, “Don, this man is going to be in my life until he dies. I still love him.He saved my life when I was a kid.I will take care of him and spend time with him as long as he needs me.I love you too and my time with him has nothing to do with us. I don’t think there is a conflict here.You need to deal with it.”

Don frets over dealing with it.He finds himself in a relationship with a woman who is still in love with someone else, while saying she loves him too.It feels awkward anduncomfortable.He wants to respect her past experiences and honor what she honors but at the same time he fears that she is not really committed to him.When they talk about a shared future and plans for retirement, he isn’t interested in including the ex-husband.He says, “An ex is an ex for a reason.That marriage is over.”

And what can I say?I listen and listen.When he asks for my opinion I say something oblique about needing to know our own boundaries.We talk about his concern that Angie will end her relationship with him if he says she has to end her involvement with her ex.We ask,“What is fair, anyway?”We consider if the relationship with her is really what he wants.
We arrive at a few questions:

1. What does he really want in a partner?
2. What else is going on in his life that he is worrying about this now, after ten years with Angie?
3. Is it possible to find apartner who doesn’t have a past that may intrude?
Don is wondering about his personal boundaries in his relationship with Angie.
I am wondering about my own boundariesin my friendship with Don.If I respect boundaries, I will not voice opinions about what he should do (it’s his life, not mine), and I won’t askhim for details the next time we are together (it’s his issue, not mine).

 Friendship has boundaries too. 

Author's Bio:

Sarah (Sam) Elliston is an expert in the art of Dealing with Difficult People. She is a top workshop leader and a member of the faculty of the William Glasser Institute, which espouses “Reality Therapy” to foster behavioral change.

But her instructional career began long before she even became aware that she was herself a “difficult person,” traits that began in Lincoln MA, where she grew up. For more than 30 years she has been teaching and training, first as a high school teacher in Ohio and Cincinnati—and then as an administrator in the not-for-profit sector.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook


Prize: One winner will receive a copy of Lessons from a Difficult Person and a $10 Amazon gift card (open to USA & Canada)
Ends Feb 25

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until next time,

31 January, 2017

A walk against the wind - Royal Gorge park, Canon city, Co, USA

Did you ever walk against the wind on a suspension bridge at a height of 956 ft above a river? As luck would have it, the day we decided to visit this one of the world's highest suspension bridges, the wind was blowing at around 38 miles per hour. The natural views around the bridge were breathtaking and the frozen Arkansas river below was amazing too. But due to strong winds, it was very difficult to cross the bridge with kids, that too with one kid on a pram. The last part of the bridge has more ferocious winds freezing our hands even with gloves.

Royal Gorge Bridge - A closer look

Royal Gorge Bridge

Thus, the walk on the bridge was tough on that day. The other side of the bridge has a plaza theater, which shows the history of the park, how the bridge was built etc., and there is also an exhibition of historic artifacts and photos about the Royal gorge railroad.

Fortunately, by the time we completed the show, the wind reduced below 30 mph and they started the Gandola rides. On the way to Gandola ride, there is a children's play area with merry-go-around. The admission to the park, which includes Gandola ride is around $20 for adults and $15 for kids above 4 years of age. There are other adventure rides available for an extra charge like Royal Rush skycoaster and cloud scraper zipline. The skycoaster looked scary but entertaining and zipline is more comfortable than other ziplines that I saw. 

The Gandola ride is great with awesome views of canyon and the majestic Arkansas river at the depth of 1000ft below. We can also watch the Royal gorge train route below along the river. Here are some views of the canyon and the bridge from the Gandola.
That's the Gorge and frozen Arkansas river

Bridge from the Gandola

Scenic Gandola

There is a water clock that welcomes us next to the visitor center while we are entering the bridge. This extraordinary water clock is only one of the three in the world which shows the current season, year, date and time.

water clock

The bridge was constructed in 1929, but it was completely destroyed in 2013 due to fire and what we say is rebuilt recently. Though a little expensive, this bridge is a must watch. 

So, until we meet with another travelogue or a book review,
Bye for now!

29 January, 2017

The Accidental Wife by Simi K Rao - [Book Review]

Book Details:
Title: The Accidental wife
Author: Simi K Rao
Genre: Romance, fiction
Length of the book: 206 pages
Source: A free e-review copy from the author

Some accidents are meant to happen… 

Dr. Rihaan Mehta is a brilliant young neurosurgeon who has no inclination for love or marriage. According to him wives and girlfriends are annoying accessories that one can do without. But when his mother dangles the sword over his head in classic Bollywood style, he succumbs, and sets out in search of a bride who would fit his 'requirements'. But can Rihaan deal with what he gets instead?

My Review:
Most of the romantic stories start with love at a first sight and end as 'Happily ever after', But this story starts with an accidental marriage and ends with 'Happily ever after'. No, it's not a story of marriage, but a story of companionship which shows love and sacrifice of a couple walking you through their ups and downs. 

Rihaan is a neuro surgeon in New york who wants to marry some girl who won't distract his busy work schedule and don't expect anything from him. For him, marriage is just to escape from his mother's nagging. He chooses a girl who is as reckless as him about marriage but gets cheated by her and ends up marrying another girl Naina. Initially, Rihaan and Naina act before Rihaan's family and want to acheive their individual goals without disturbing each other. But, gradually as they realize how they are made for each other, fate takes their lives in altogether a different direction. Can they withstand the problems and let their love win? This forms the remaining story. 

There are some unexpected turns in the story with a lot of emotion. Niana impresses in the first part of the book, whereas Rihaan completely bowls us over in the remaining part. Though the climax is predictable, the ending of the book is great. 

There are a few things which I couldn't understand in the book - how Naina can take the place of Deepika foolishly? This action also means that she too doesn't value marriage like Rihaan. But, the book tells us that she values the marriage as the convergence of 2 hearts. One more thing is the confusion on the character of Rudy. I couldn't understand Rudy's problem. He tries to flirt with Naina once or twice but doesn't bring up anything before her again. Naina also ignores Rudy anyways. Another thing that bothered me is - what would have happened if Naina is not beautiful when Rihaan saw her for the first time? will the story be same? Definitely no. I like to read more stories about imperfect couples and not about great looking couples(handsome hunk and damsel bride) which is very rare to find in our real lives.

I would recommend this to romance lovers who want to read about some practical and matured love.

My Rating: 4/5

PS: I have received this e-review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion on the book.

Purchase Link:

About the Author:
Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years. 

The inspiration for her books, and other projects, comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances. 

Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life.

Much of Rao's down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world.

A practicing physician, Rao lives in Denver with her family.

You can connect with the author and read more of her work on her website at www.SimiKRao.com 

Find her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SimiKRao and Twitter @SimiKRao

Until next time,

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