16 August, 2018

Storm from Taxila by Shreyas Bhave - Book Spot Light

~ Book Blitz ~
Storm From Taxila by Shreyas Bhave
15th to 17th August

About the Book:  

BHARATVARSHA,
LAND OF THE ARYAS: 270 BC


Bindusar,
the Samrat Chakravartin of all the
Aryas, ruler of the Indian subcontinent, is dead. Chaos rules across the
empire. The royal succession turns upon intrigue, dark coalitions, violence and
death. The realm stands divided and civil war ensues.
In
Vidishanagri: Asoka kills his brother’s Ashwamedha
stallion and marches to Patliputra with his army. The ancient Brahminical order
rises in his supports, awaiting his entry into the capital. Have they made the
right choice?
In
Taxila: The rightful heir, Sushem, raises an army to meet the challenge posed
by his ambitious and gifted brother, Asoka. He prepares to march to the capital
and seize the throne by force. Will history repeat itself; will Sushem achieve
what his grandfather Chandragupta did 50 years ago?
In
Junagarh: Guild Master Hardeo sets out on a private mission to acquire the
great salt pans of Sindh. Will he succeed in his secret enterprise?
In
Vidishanagri: Radhagupta travels to fulfill the task allotted to him by the
Order. Kanakdatta, the Buddhist, stands up to stop him. Will Radhagupta fail in
his mission?
The
winds of war howl over the sub-continent, blowing every last person one way or
the other. Blood will be spilled, secrets revealed and men ruined. History
shall be made.
In
Book II of the epic Asoka Trilogy,
the storm approaches; the harbinger of death and destruction. When the dust finally
settles, the great question will be answered: Who is the next Samrat of the holy Lands of the Aryas?

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon





Read an Excerpt:

Asoka
was sitting on the steps to the throne, fastening his knee-high boots when
Chanakya entered
the chamber in his wheeled chair, dressed not in his usual long robe, but a
cotton undershirt. Asoka did not look up but kept tightening the straps of his
boots with both hands. The burning torches dispelled the darkness that
blanketed everything outside.
As
Chanakya rolled forward, his shadow fell upon the throne. “Why are you in
armour, Prince?” he asked.
“I am
in armour because we are under siege,” Asoka said, finishing his task.
“We
have been under siege for a week,” Chanakya reminded him.
“But
tonight the enemy is hammering at our walls,” Asoka replied, pointing a thumb
over his shoulder.
“The
walls will hold Prince.”
“I do
not doubt that. It is I who cannot hold on any longer.”
Chanakya
wheeled nearer. “What do you mean?”
Asoka
got to his feet. “Order the Captain of the Guards to assemble his reserve force
at the stables.” “But why?” Chanakya asked, perplexed.
Asoka
looked down at him. “I plan to sally out,” he said coolly.
“I beg
your pardon, Prince, but why such a foolhardy action?”
“It is
military slang,” Asoka explained, looking around for his shield, “sallying
out
signifies a foray by the defenders, in the middle of the night, to
carry out a surprise raid on the besieger’s camp.”
“Well
you are not sallying out,” Chanakya said firmly.
“Why
do you say that, Prime Minister?”
“Isn’t
it obvious? It is dangerous!”
“Great
things cannot be achieved without facing danger, Prime Minister. You of all
people should know that.”
“Great
things!” Chanakya laughed mockingly. “What do you plan to achieve by sallying
out
, Prince?”
“Small
things in this case,” Asoka replied, reaching for his scabbard. “We have about
forty horses
in the stables, Prime Minister. I and some of the city guards will ride out
under the cover of night and raid Sushem’s camp. I am certain we will catch his
men totally unawares. If we are lucky, perhaps Maharaja Sushem will fall
to my sword.”
“And
if you are unlucky,” Chanakya said, “you may fall to his.”
Asoka
shrugged as he pulled out his sword and checked its sharp edge by moving a
finger over it. “I am not afraid of dying,” He said.
“You
do not need to do this, Prince,” Chanakya pleaded. “Everything is under
control.”
Asoka
pushed his sword back into the scabbard. “Everything will be under control once
I am done with this raid,” he said softly.
“Your
friend, Shiva of Avanti, comes with your army soon,” Chanakya said, following
Asoka in his chair. “He will attack Sushem from behind and force him to lift
the siege. That is the plan!”
“The
plan!” Asoka stopped and turned around. “Is that your plan? Is that what you
wish the people of Patliputra to say, that they were saved by others while their
leader hid in the palace?” “Even your grandfather, Chandragupta, was not afraid to hide,”
Chanakya said. “He knew that…”
“Stop!”
Asoka said, raising one hand. “Look well, Prime Minister! Look at who stands
before you! I am not my grandfather. I do not look like him. I do not think
like him. Nor do I speak like him. But I am sure about one thing. If he were in
my shoes today, he would do the same as I.”
“You
are making a mistake,” Chanakya told him. “You will regret it later.”
Asoka
sighed. “I regret not doing this on the first day of the siege.”



About the Author:

Shreyas is a 21 year old guy currently pursuing his B.Tech in Electrical Eng. from VNIT Nagpur. His love for history since his childhood prompted him to write his take on the story of Asoka who was one of the towering figures in the history of India, which has been taken up as ‘The Asoka Trilogy’ by Leadstart Publishing.

The first part of the trilogy called ‘The Prince of Patliputra’ has been published in January 2016 and garnered positive responses.

He is also presently working on several other manuscripts and completing the final year of his engineering Course.

Connect with the Author:




Until next time,




04 August, 2018

Gratitude List for July 2018 #GratitudeCircle

July involved a lot of traveling for me which is exhausting. I am grateful to meet my ex-colleagues and friends. I am also thankful to God for the health of my family and children. We could manage the changing weathers of different places we traveled. 

This month, my mantra is less complaining and start working.


Here is my Gratitude List:

1. Painting for #WorldWaterColorMonth

July is celebrated as #WorldWaterColorMonth and Many artists share their watercolor paintings with this hashtag. I am not used to painting with watercolors and have done only drawing and pencil sketching so far. I am glad that I tried watercolor painting with my son's watercolor set and just 3 brushes this time. I could paint one painting per week. Here is the collage of my Paintings:



2.  Health
I am grateful for my health and my family's. Since we traveled more, I was afraid if we could cope up with different weathers. 

3. Meeting old friends
I could meet my ex-colleagues after 2 years who are also close friends. We just spent a few hours in our busy schedules. I am glad they could make time for me. The chat was relaxing and reminded me of our old days.

4. Playing with our new family member
We welcomed a new member to our family. A baby girl of my sister. I am very happy to have spent some time playing with the cute little girl. My sons are very happy and excited about being brothers.

5. Good movie and family time
I have watched 'Mahanati', an exceptionally made Telugu movie about Veteran actress Savitri together with family during dinner. Good movie watched with family is a bonus to be thankful for.

What are you grateful for last month/ last week? Do let me know in comments.

Until next time,








Linking this post to #GratitudeCircle linkup hosted by Vidya Sury.




Also, linking to #WritingWednesdays hosted by Corinne from www.Writetribe.com.


01 August, 2018

Mother Sparsh Baby wipes - The first Water based wipes in India

Nowadays, every manufactured item that we choose has chemicals. But, when it comes to skin care and baby care, I read the ingredients multiple times before I choose a product. Since Baby wipes are very useful for babies for everyday use, it is very important for them to be chemical free. 

Found out about 'Mother Sparsh' Baby wipes recently from a friend and I am glad to share more details about these baby wipes which bring the goodness of water and plants for the delicate baby skin.

I used baby wipes a lot when my son was in the infant stage. Since the baby's skin is delicate, I preferred baby wipes to soap water. I observed that many wipes available in the market were not biodegradable, not fragrance-free and a few are not gentle to the skin. I was looking for a clinically proven water wipes such as Mother Sparsh which are Paraben and alcohol-free. I was not aware of Mother Sparsh brand at that time.

Since my son is grown up now, I use baby wipes only during travel to clean the mess after he eats food and keeping him clean during long drives.

How Mother Sparsh Baby wipes are different from other wipes?


  • Mother Sparsh wipes are the first water-based wipes in India (98% pure water)
Different health organizations like NICE, UK, and others clearly advocate that cleaning with water is much safer as it avoids allergies and irritation to the skin.

  • These wipes are biodegradable (100% Viscose/ No polyester)
Which means, Mother Sparsh baby water wipes are made with 100% viscose super soft fabric which is gentle on the environment as they are Biodegradable. Just, think about every wipe that we throw away after use. These constitute 7.6 billion pounds of garbage every year. To put it in another way, the wet wipes are the third largest consumer item in landfills and represent 30% of non-biodegradable waste. 

Can you believe this? 

  • The wipes are made with extremely smooth fabric which breathable and highly absorbent, unlike Polyester which tends to irritate the baby skin.

  • Cleaning with Mother Sparsh baby wipes are as good as soft cotton and pure water.
These wipes are available at all major retailers like Amazon, first cry , paytm etc., and they are one of the best seller products at Amazon.

So, with all these benefits, it is definitely worth a try if you haven't used water wipes yet for your baby. Mother Sparsh is as good as cotton and water. 

Water and nature represent the purest form of care. If you don't want to rub plastic on baby's skin, consider these nature-friendly wet wipes which are made of plant fabric.

Watch this video to know more about Mother Sparsh water wipes which are hypoallergenic and pH balanced.




About Mother Sparsh:

Mother Sparsh has initiated its journey around 1 and half years back with a clear motive to launch baby products that are gentle and maintain baby skin health. With this thought, we came with India’s first water-based wipes i.e. Mother Sparsh 98% water wipes. 

Until next time,








PS: This is a sponsored post but all opinions are mine.


30 July, 2018

The Soldier Prince by Arti V Raman - [Book Review]

Book Details:
Title: The Soldier Prince : Alexander (Royals of Stellangard Saga Book 1)
Author: Arti V Raman
Genre: Romance, thriller, suspense, Action
Publisher: Karou Publishing
Print length: 501 pages
Source: ARC from the author for review


Blurb:
The Soldier Prince...

Alexander ‘Iceman’ Heinrickson was born a prince. 

The spare heir to a European principality whose future was set in stone. 

Until circumstances forced him to abandon his wealthy lifestyle and royal heritage. He chose to become a soldier. 

After years of seeing needless combat, he works construction in New York city. And craves a normal life. 

Going back home is not an option for him. 

But neither is leaving a brave damsel in danger. 


...And The Commoner 

Sasha Ray is an aspiring teacher and a soft touch waitress. 

Her life is normal. Boring even. 

She also has a massive crush on the newest Tall, Blond, and Handsome who frequents the New York deli where she works.

What she doesn’t know about the stranger called Iceman might get her killed. Or worse. 

For one, he turns out to be a lethally capable soldier. 

For another, he is the secret Prince of Stellang√•rd, who is not used to the word no. 

So, when Alexander sweeps her off on a private jet to his castle nestled in the Swiss Alps for her own protection, she has no choice but to go with him. 

Falling for a tortured hero like Prince Alexander might be the biggest mistake of her life. 

But Sasha knows some mistakes are worth risking your heart for.

With an unknown enemy closing in, Sasha and Alexander need to decide if happily ever after is just a fairy tale. Or can a Prince and a commoner find true love in the middle of danger? 

Meet the Royals of Stellang√•rd - Alexander, Helena, and Michael - burdened by their heritage, freed by love, in three standalone novels of romantic suspense and action. 


Purchase Link:

Amazon India

My Review:

The Soldier Prince is an interesting Romantic story between a waitress and a prince.

Sasha is an ambitious individual who wants to become a writer and works as a waitress in a restaurant to meet her expenses. Alexander is the member of the Royal family of Stellangard who is in disguise for personal reasons working in a construction company. It is a love at first sight for Sasha watching Alexander daily as a generous customer who donates food to the poor. Accidentally, Sasha finds out about the murder attempt on Alexander and saves him. The love story starts from there. Romance, relationships, complications with Royal life, protocols, responsibilities, national politics, political strategies etc., fill up the remaining story. 

What I liked?

I liked the romance, the family politics and the details about the royal family. This reminded me of Mills and Boons novels where the Prince charming is the handsome hero and the heroine is an attractive and intelligent middle-class damsel. 

The Romance, conversations and the complications of being a member of the royal family are covered well and are relatable. The women characters are strong, opinionated and independent - Sasha, Daria, and Lena etc., 

Since this is the first part of the series, we can expect another great story about Lena, Alexander's sister in the next part. 

Stellangard being a not so popular place, made the background of the story look fresh and interesting. The narration is casual and the flow of events is good. 

What can be better?

Since this is the first part of the series, I felt the story is incomplete, which is natural. But, I would have enjoyed reading more about Lena and Alexander's parents. I felt the story is stretching a bit unnecessarily at some point.

My Rating: 4/5
I would recommend this to the readers who love action-packed romance. 

I rate books by the 5-star rating system. 
1/5: I hated it
2/5: Below average, I don't like it.
3/5: It is ok with some faults.
4/5: I liked it and I recommend it to others though it has slight imperfections.

5/5: It is awesome and I will definitely recommend it to others.

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

About the Author:

Aarti is an incurable romantic who has taken up the task of bringing Happily Ever After to life for the characters in her head.

She currently writes steamy contemporary romance for urban millennials with a global twist such as With You I Dance and the Geeks of Caltech series. She also writes romantic thrillers such as White Knight, Kingdom Come, Royals of Stellangard trilogy and more. 

Sometimes there are guns and car chases too. 

Aarti has appeared as a panelist and speaker at several lit fests in India. 

While pursuing her dream job, Aarti has taken a detour into business journalism, copy editing and corporate communications. She’s a graduate of Mumbai University with a Bachelor’s in Mass Media and Journalism. She conducts creative writing workshops and dabbles in poetry too. 

She loves to hear from her readers and friends by email at author@aartivraman.com, on Facebook as Aarti V Raman-Author, Twitter @RT_writes, Instagram, and Goodreads. You can also join Aarti’s monthly newsletter and stay updated on the latest from Writer Gal.

Until next time,


27 July, 2018

5 Back to school items not to miss!

In the USA, schools are reopening after 2 weeks. I think this is the best time to start planning what to buy for school and shop. How much ever early I plan for the school, I tend to miss one or the other. So, I have made a list of 5 Back to school items not to miss from Target.





1. Lunchbox, snack boxes, and Lunch bags

As a parent, food comes first to my mind :-) I hate when my kids bring lunch and snack without finishing completely. Sometimes, Nice lunch and snack boxes help to attract them to finish their food. I liked these items from Target. 

Lunch Bag

Lunch Box and Snack box set





Lunch Box and Bag set





















2. Water Bottles


For my pre-schooler, I choose a small bottle which is easy to open and have a straw. For my 2nd grader, I have to choose a big bottle as he can drink more water. When I explored through the aisles at Target, I found these. Do you like them?

For Pre-schooler




Water bottle



3. School Bags

I usually choose durable and cute bags. Here are a few that I liked.

For Pre-schooler



Starwars Schoolbag



4. School Supplies

Pencils, erasers, markers, sharpener, Crayons, Scissors, construction paper, glue sticks and a pencil box are some essentials to get ready for school. 

I might add a notebook, pencil case, and pen for the elementary schooler. 

These Ultra clean washable markers come for just $2.49.

I trust Ticonderoga brand for pencils.


5. Clothes

Last and the most important shopping is clothes. This takes more time for me. 

Here are some T-shirts starting at $4 for every day use and Polos also starting at the same price. Try these Denims starting at $8 in Target.

So, these are my Back to school essentials items. What are your favorites and not - to miss items? So let me know in comments. 

Enjoy the holidays till then :-)

Until next time,






PS: The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are mine.

15 July, 2018

Bombay Heights by Adite Banerjee - Cover Reveal



Bombay Heights
by

Blurb

Small town girl Sanjana Kale wants a fresh start in Mumbai. A challenging job and some much needed distance from her ludicrously over-protective family could get her life under control.




Forced to team up with video game designer Ashwin Deo, who is too attractive for his own good, she finds life becoming a whole lot more complicated when he turns out to be her new neighbour. How can she maintain a professional distance with this charming troublemaker who believes in getting up close and personal?




To make matters worse, her ex tries to manipulate her loved ones to work his way back into her life. Hysterical siblings, a cantankerous client, an ex who will not take no for an answer, and a blow hot blow cold neighbour... Sanjana is sleepless in the City of Dreams! Can she do what Ashwin dares her to--create a few ripples even if it upsets her family?







Adite Banerjie is a published author and screenwriter.

Adite Banerjie discovered the wonderful world of books at an early age which sparked her interest in writing. After a fulfilling and exciting career as a business journalist she turned her attention to fiction.

Three of her books have been published by Harlequin/Harper Collins India. She is now committed to being an indie author.

She also writes screenplays and in 2017 one of her scripts made it to the semi-finals of the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowships.

When she is not grappling with her current work-in-progress, she enjoys spending time with her husband and watching back-to-back movies.

She loves to connect with her readers and writers. .

Twitter: @adite

  

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09 July, 2018

The Berlin Tunnel by Roger L Liles - Cover Reveal



 photo The Berlin 2_zpshamvnteq.jpg
Thriller / Historical Fiction
Date Published: October 1, 2018
Publisher: Acorn Publishing

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

During the Cold War, a tunnel was built by British MI-6 and the CIA to tap into a message cable in East Berlin with the hopes of intercepting and exploiting communications with Russia. The Berlin Tunnel is based on this historic event.

***

 In the height of the Cold War, American Air Force Captain Robert Kerr finds himself in a divided Berlin awash with spies who move freely between the East and West. His task—build a TOP SECRET tunnel under the River Spree into East Berlin—tap into highly classified communications links between civilian and military leaders in Russia and the Warsaw Pact countries.

Love couldn’t have found him at a worse time.

Soon after he arrives, Robert falls for a German girl, Anna Fischer. Nasty East German Secret Police harass them both constantly, intent on determining what Robert and his work crew are doing in Berlin, but it’s Anna who gets caught in the crossfire.

 The wall is closed, trapping 19 million East Germans including Anna’s entire family behind the Iron Curtain. As the world holds its collective breath over the Berlin Crisis, Robert and Anna fight for their lives as they attempt to free her family.


Advance Praise

"Exceptional!  The settings and descriptions are vivid and real.  The author is a master of making the reader want to know what happens next.”

 Karen Black, Author of Code of Conduct


"This story was captivating.  A good history lesson as well as a good read.  You get out of one tension-filled event only to have another start almost immediately.”

USN Captain Terry Badger, Author of The Saga of HS-8



“The characters, scenes and dialogue were absolutely believable.  I felt like I was reading an autobiography, believed everything the writer said happened and was surprised when I found it was work of fiction. I enjoyed meeting Anna and Robert and loved seeing the East and West through their experiences—1960s Berlin was as much a character as they are.”

Ingrid Hoffmeister, English Artist and Writer



“I volunteered to be the Beta Readers of a historical novel; what I got was a page turning mystery, love story and spy thriller. The technical details of the building of the tunnel were easy to understand and the tension of the many problems they encounter was believable.  Pat yourself on the back.  You’ve done a great job.  I expected that I wouldn’t really be into the book, but intrigue grabbed me right after the prologue.”

Sarah Vosburgh, Award Winning Short Story Author



About the Author

 photo IMG_2182_zpskpzy8dgj.jpg


Roger L. Liles is an admitted over educated bibliophile who decided he had to earn a living after BA and graduate studies in Modern European History; he went back to school and eventually earned an MS in Engineering from USC in 1970. In the 1960s, he was stationed in Turkey and German for five years as a US Air Force Signals Intelligence Officer. He issued reports which got President Johnson out of bed at least five times. He eventually lived in Europe for almost 8 years. He worked in the military electronics field for forty years—his main function was to translate engineering jargon into understandable English and communicate it to senior decision makers in the US government. He took novel writing classes at UCLA for three years including the Master Novel Writers Class. Now retired, he spends most of his time writing novels, but also dotes over his collectables. He is a member of the Scribblers of North San Diego Country. This is his first published novel.  




Contact Links

RABT Book Tours & PR

Until next time,

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