31 January, 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

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Until next time,

30 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!

28 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,

24 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


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


"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.

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

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

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:

Until next time,

22 January, 2017

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

This post may contain affiliate links, clicking on those links may earn some commission to us without any additional cost to you.

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.

Top 5 Places to visit in Colorado Springs

How to Reach and Where to Stay?

Here are some of the cheap flight options to Denver:

This widget is cool to book accommodations quick:

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 the 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.

Note: Pikes Peak cog railway reopened now in 2021 for tourists. Book tickets in advance online. Ticket price is $58 for adults and $48 for children under 12. 

3. Broadmoor Seven Falls

These majestic waterfalls have earned a spot in National Geographic's list of international falls. These 181 ft falls to reach the ground in seven distinct steps, thus it got its 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 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-Dactyl.

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,

17 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.


Win $50 cash or a Basic Virtual Book Tour Package (2 winners, open int’l)
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Until next time,

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