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

Blurb:
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:
Amazon

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,

25 January, 2017

The Journey to Magmatic by Ya'akov Halevy - [Book Review]

Book Details:
Title: The Journey to Magmatic
Author: Ya'akov Halevy
Genre: Scifi, fantasy, children's fiction
The length of the book: 132 pages
Source: A free e-review copy from the author

Blurb:

An adventure beneath the earth’s surface

An ancient legend tells of a long-gone continent called Magmatic, buried in a volcanic eruption due to human greed and environmental destruction. Tulip and her little brother Noonie heard the fable from their father, a scientist who anticipates earthquakes. They'll soon find out that the legend is real.

An adventure packed with thrills, humor and surprise

On a field-trip to an advanced scientific pod, Tulip and Noonie find themselves beneath the earth’s surface. Deep underground, they slowly uncover the true source of earthquakes, and how the ancient legend is linked to the real environmental dangers facing the planet.

A fantastic voyage into the earth's belly

In their journey they encounter mythical animals, magnificent sights, great dangers and a world that blends imagination and reality. Together with their companions – a kind-hearted crustacean and a humanoid mindreading computer – they must learn to cooperate and rely on each other if they want to survive… and save the world.

Two children on a mission to save the planet

Will Tulip and Noonie overcome the dangers lurking in the Magma Sea, deep in the belly of the Earth? Will they escape the Monster Crab and the cruel mutants? How will they decipher the ancient prophecy and silence the deadly drill? And will their love for each other survive the voyage? A fantastic adventure about friendship, courage and environmental responsibility. You'll read it with bated breath.
My Review:
I usually don't like Scifi stories but picked this up as it is related to earthquakes and children. The blurb is interesting too. This is the story of 2 brave and inquisitive children who get trapped in a scientific pod which is designed to go to the core of the earth to find the source of earthquakes. What do they experience in their journey? Can they survive and find the source of the earthquakes and stop it? This forms the remaining story.
The story starts well in an interesting way. It is lovely to read about the brother and sister relationship, their courage, their trust to each other and their intelligence. But, later it becomes too much of fantasy. Since the story is set in 2050, it is acceptable but mind reading capabilities of the computer and the incredible concept of the pod which protects itself from extreme weather conditions are unbelievable. There are some inherent messages and morals in different chapters of the book, which are good. I felt bored after reading 50% of the book and skipped a few pages in the middle. The climax is good. The book cover is great and the title is apt. The flow of the events is fine, but editing can be tighter. I would recommend this to sci-fi and fantasy lovers.
My Rating: 3/5
PS: I have received this free e-review copy from the author for review and this is my honest opinion on the book. 
Purchase link:
Until next time,

THE BLESSED EVENT by Frankie Bow - Book Blast





Amazon has priced The Blessed Event by Frankie Bow at just 99⊄ for the month of January!
(Free on Kindle Unlimited)
The Blessed Event (The Professor Molly Mysteries)
Publisher: Hawaiian Heritage Press (June 10, 2016)
Paperback: 344 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1943476251
Kindle ASIN: B01GW5WUAE

Synopsis

"You may wonder what my least-favorite student was doing in my living room. In a twist of fate that might seem hilarious if it happened to someone else, he was now my stepson."

Professor Molly Barda is looking forward to a quiet summer in Mahina, Hawaii working on her research and adjusting to married life. But when a visit from her new husband's relatives coincides with a murder, Molly wonders what she's married into--and realizes she might have a killer under her roof.
author-photo-b-square

About The Author
Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.
In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.
Author Links

Webpage Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Goodreads

Purchase Links
Amazon




Until next time,






The Opposition by Alicia Bryant- [Book Review]

Book details:
Title: The Opposition
Author: Alicia Bryant
Genre: contemporary romance, fiction
Length of book : 198 pages
Source: A free e-review copy from the Author

Blurb:
Cool-headed and careful, up-and-coming lawyer Sophia Grant works hard at the Chicago law firm where she handles an ever-growing roster of corporate clients. The last thing she ever expected was to find herself falling for opposing counsel on a case. But after she agrees to represent her best friend, Michael, in a lawsuit, she finds herself drawn to Sam, the charming and talented lawyer on the other side.

As Sophia fights to clear her friend's name, she and Sam strike up an unexpected and invigorating friendship that leaves her wondering whether she can really trust him. She's determined to do everything she can to help Michael and to untangle his case. Can she keep her growing affection for Sam from getting in the way?

The Opposition is a charming and entertaining novel about friendship, trust, and finding love in surprising places.

My Review:

This is a debut novel by Alicia, but it is more promising and exceeded my expectations. Earlier, I never read a book about lawyers and Iam glad I read this. Sophia is a young up-coming lawyer and she had to represent a case for her best friend Michael. When anyone has to take up a task in their profession which involves a close friend in personal life, it usually adds up to more stress. Moreover, Sophia gets attracted to the Opposition lawyer Sam, which makes things complicated. But, Sophia keeps her affection towards Sam in control and works hard for the case and of course, the result is awesome. 

I loved the character of Sophia - genuine, hard working and helpful. Sam is enigmatic and charming. Though I would have loved reading more pages about Sam and Sophia, this novel is up to the point without dragging the story. The title of the book is apt, but I felt, the cover might have been more attractive. The flow of the story is easy to follow and the pace is good.

My Rating: 4.5/5

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

Purchase link:
Amazon

Until next time,


23 January, 2017

Top 5 places to visit in Colorado Springs, CO (USA)

Colorado springs is definitely a nature lover's paradise and the best destination for people who love hiking and mountains. Though weather becomes unpredictable often in winter, the beauty of this season here is never to be missed.

Here are some places I felt are a must visit in Colorado springs:

1. Royal Gorge Bridge
The Royal Gorge bridge and park in Canon city which is 1 hr drive from Colorado Springs is one of the world's highest suspension bridges. The bridge across the river Kansas is constructed in 1929 and it suffered a huge loss because of fire in 2013. Fortunately, it is restored now. The scenic Gondola ride gives fantastic 360 degree views of the canyon and the river in the valley. There are other adventure rides also like zipline and Sky coaster which are one of its kind. Though some rides cost extra charge, normal admission to the bridge and Gondola ride costs $22 per adult and $17 per child.


2. Pikes peak Cog railway
Pikes peak is an incredible experience. The 3 hrs15 min round trip train takes the tourists to the peak of the summit which is 14,500 ft above sea level. The trip to the peak is an amazing journey with beautiful views of valleys, cascade falls, a lake etc.,In winter season from Jan to the end of February month, the train ride goes only till 11,500 ft because of the weather, but it's still worth a visit for the excellent view of snowcapped mountains.

3. Broadmoor Seven Falls
These majestic waterfalls have earned a spot in National Geographic's list of international falls. These 181 ft falls reach the ground in seven distinct steps, thus it got it's name. This place is owned and maintained by Broadmoor. There are steps leading to the top of the waterfall with resting points in the middle to enjoy the falls. The falls completely freeze in December and January which makes them look spectacular. There is an elevator to reach the top and there are zipline tours for adventure seekers.
Google image labeled with non commercial reuse

4. Garden of the Gods
While all the above attractions charge an admission, this natural park is free to visit. This national natural landmark is home to several beautiful rock formations with adventure trails, hiking, and rock climbing. Learn more about these amazing red rock formations at the visitor center through Geo-trekker movie experience and capture the Sunrise and Sunset in red rock canyon to make great memories. 

5. Cave of the winds
These caves are million years old, though discovered 147 years ago. In 1869, Arthur B Love noticed these caves, but two brothers George and John Pickett explored these caves further to find an amazing underground world with limestone formations. There are different tours carried out at regular intervals in the cave to guide us through the cave geology. There are also some adventure rides like Bat-A-Pult, Wind walker challenge, and Terror-Dactyle.

So, here is my must visit list in Colorado springs. There are many more beautiful places in springs and I will be posting detailed travelogues on each of the places soon. 

Until next time,



18 January, 2017

iRead Book Tours turns 3!

I have been a reviewer for iRead book tours from a long time and I love their professionalism in promoting books.

About iRead Book Tours:

At iRead, we give special attention to every book that tours with us. We are passionate about books and we customize all our tours because no two authors are alike.

We don't just market books. We help our authors get the best exposure with traditional tours consisting mainly of reviews. We work closely with our authors and pride ourselves on our highly individualized customer service.

All our staff are book bloggers and authors, so we understand the process and the hard work involved. We've built a solid relationship with our database of reliable book bloggers who are eager to read your books.

Welcome to the iRead experience!

About Laura Fabiani:

In 2008, Laura began blogging about books shortly after she published her first book. She started Library of Clean Reads, a book review blog, and discovered the joy of reviewing a variety of genres. Her children have joined her in this venture and they spend many happy hours reading books together. A Special Care Counselor by profession, Laura has co-led and developed programs for seniors with dementia, including Alzheimer's Disease. She has a passion for the topic of neuroscience and wellness.

Throughout the years she has met and worked with wonderful publishers, both traditional and indie, as well as publicists and authors. Best of all, she discovered the world of book bloggers--a community of special people who spend their precious time sharing their love of books and all things related to books.

Taking part in book tours has always made Laura feel more connected to authors and the publishing field. She organized her own virtual tour when her book was published and she learned several things. As an author, it exposed her to actual reader views and social media. As a book blogger and book tour organizer, it taught her the amount of work it entailed. And she loves it!

You can find Laura blogging at Library of Clean Reads and Essentially Italian. She is the owner of iRead Book Tours,  Italy Book Tours, and Je Lis Blog Tours.

Giveaway:​

Win $50 cash or a Basic Virtual Book Tour Package (2 winners, open int’l)
Ends Feb 4



a Rafflecopter giveaway






Until next time,








17 January, 2017

Let's hug and Unusualasauras - Book Spot Light & GiveAway

Here are 2 lovely children's books. Read to know more..

Book Description for Let’s Hug: 15 Hugs for Beginners:


There must be over a millions ways to say "I love you" or "I care about you", but with a single hug, even without words, you can simply feel it. This book is for toddlers, and encourages children and adults alike to try out all possible types of hugs. It's everyone's gain.


It took seconds for the sweet testers who accompanied the writing of this book to adopt these 15 ways of showing love, to give and receive it. And our testers are not alone. Recent studies reveal that Oxitocin, the most fun hormone available, also known as the Love Hormone, is released into our bodies when we hug.


Hugs are proven to have a generally positive healing and relaxing effect, since they increase calm and happiness, reinforce our self esteem, and support our sense of connection to those who are close to us. If you'd like to validate these studies, go ahead and hug.


This book was beautifully illustrated by Yuval Israeli, and it's the second creative collaboration between Yuval Israeli and Efrat Shoham.


Buy the Book: Amazon


Book Description for The Unusualasaurases:


Ages and ages ago, many different kinds of dinosaurs roamed our planet. Some were as large as whales, while others were the size of small dogs. Some were plant-eaters, while some ate other animals. Some had very long necks and tails, while others were tiny. Some had horns. Some had wings and could fly.


Despite all of these many variations, they were all part of the dinosaur family. And, as is often the case with family, they shared many common features.


No one has ever never whatsoever seen a live dinosaur or spoken to one of them. So, what if dinosaurs could really talk, or smile, cry, dream, dance, play and joke?


To answer all of these questions, all you have to do is become an Imaginesaurus, and meet the Unusualasauruses.


This book is aimed at children aged 4 to 120. It introduces the readers to different types of personalities, characters, and skills and thus helps us to spot them at a glance.


This book was beautifully illustrated by Lilach Ramati.


Buy the Book:  Amazon


About the Author:


Efrat Shoham is an Israeli writer and independent publisher (The Pink Camel).


Shoham grew up in a small agricultural village in Israel. Her father was a farmer and her mother – a teacher and librarian. She lives with her family in Tel Aviv, on a small street lined with eucalyptus, mulberry and loquat trees, where 3 rabbits from the nearby kindergarten run wild.


She thinks and believes that curiosity, imagination, humor, green fields, fresh mango or avocado and pink camels are some of the keys to a good and happy life.


Connect with the author:  Website  ~ Facebook



About the Illustrator of Let's Hug

Yuval Israeli 

"I grew up in a kibbutz in the north of Israel and for years I live in Tel Aviv with Roy and our cat "tsimuki". I studied design and illustration at "Vital" the school of visual arts, which reunited later with "Shenkar".

I also learned classical painting in the "station studio".

I always paint pop icons and characters which affected me, and I also always paint portraits of friends. Besides, I always enjoyed painting all kinds of creatures from my imagination". 

About the Illustrator of The Unusualasauruses

Lilach Ramati

"I majored in visual communication in Holon Institute of Technology. I studied Interactive, but eventually my final project was an illustrated book. Today I work as a designer in games company".




Giveaway:​
Win one of two copies of Let’s Hug or one of two copies of The Unusualasaurases (4 winners, open internationally)

Ends Jan 28
a Rafflecopter giveaway




Until next time,








12 January, 2017

Chameleon by Zoe Kalo- Cover Reveal





~ Cover Reveal ~
Chameleon by Zoe Kalo

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?



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,

10 January, 2017

#BangaloreMolestation What can we do?

After reading the recent incident in Benguluru about Mass molestation of women by drunken men on the new year's eve, every woman in India has got a shocking feeling. We, as women face eve teasing and abuse at least once in our lifetime in India, but we are habituated to either ignore and forget the issue or blame ourselves for being there in that circumstances. But, this time, #LetsSpeakup.

Whatever happened in Benguluru is not correct and we all knew that. But, what can WE do about it and stop the same happening in future? This thought was lingering in my head in the first week of Jan and I was searching for answers by reading a lot of articles on this issue.

What I found and understood is that there are 2 ways to stop this happening in future.

1. Parents educating their Sons to show respect to women
Source:www.pixabay.com

Respect should never be gender biased. Men or women - every human being deserves respect.  Researchers reveal that rapes don't happen because of the dress the women wear or the religion they belong or the specific age group they belong. So, instead of putting restrictions on our daughters, let us teach our sons how to respect women. Let us teach them what consent means. Of course, Fathers play an important role as they are role models to their sons.

We should let our children know that whatever they show in movies mostly is not correct. Even now, a hero in Indian movies wins the heart of heroine by stalking and harassing her in college/ office, which is very impractical and demeaning. 


2. Parents training their daughters with self-defence skills

We should raise our daughters more confident, give them enough freedom with responsibilities. We should make them understand that women are not weaker sex when they learn self-defence skills and be confident. 

"A Human body can bear only up to 45 del (units) of pain. Yet, at the time of giving birth, a mother feels up to 57 Del (units) of pain. This is similar to 20 bones getting fractured at the same time."

Now, what more proof is needed to show that women are strong physically? 

These days, women are working and managing families without much support, handling a lot of stress which is making them strong emotionally as well. So, let us stop retraining our daughters to wear a specific dress or be at home at a specific time but build their confidence to face this world. 

What else do you think we can do to prevent these incidents happening again? Please do share your opinion in comments.  

Linking this post to Amrita and Deepa for #MondayMommyMomments.


Healthwealthbridge

Until next time,


Linking this to#MondayMusings hosted by Corinne of Everydaygyaan

#MondayMusings
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