30 May, 2017

Gratitude list - May 2017

This month is more positive than I have expected. I did some shopping, drove to library many times, read some good books and had a great vacation.

So, it's time of the month to count my blessings and be thankful to God.

1. Library visits
I went to library many times a week with children as I have a car ready all times with me. Since summer vacation started to my elder son, this routine is helping me to keep my sanity. While both kids are always busy fighting for something or the other at home, they play independently in library, build train tracks, listen to rhymes, stories and enjoy themselves. I am also getting time to blog, read and review.
Pic courtesy: www.pixabay.com

2. Book reviews
I got to read more historical fiction novels this month including The Indus challenge, Ponni's beloved and also a quirky parenting journal - motherhood, martyrdom and Costco runs. Fortunately, I liked all the books.

3. A family vacation
It has been some time we went on a long drive and Iam happy that we went on a family vacation to Great sand dunes national preserve. Kids loved sliding on the soft sand dunes and playing in the creek jumping on water. More details will follow in my next post. We have planned more vacations in the coming months and Iam looking forward to a great time.

4. Weather
I can't help but wonder about Colorado Springs most unpredictable weather. The spring started but it snowed and rained many weeks of this month. No doubt, the nature looked wonderful with showers, mist and thunderstorms. Here is my post on dull weather but a fun week.

5. Gardening
Iam a very beginner in gardening. I don't know the basics of planting seeds and caring for a home Garden. But I tried this time as I love the plants and flowers. I also like growing vegetables fresh to eat. I started with some flowering plants, methi, coriander, tulasi and green chillies. I have to wait and see how they sustain the cold weather and I also hope it will be sunny in the coming days.

So, that's my gratitude list for this month. What are you grateful for? I wish you a happy June. (my birthday month and so my favorite 😊)

Until next time,

Linking this to #GratitudeCircle hosted by Vidya Sury and #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne.

29 May, 2017

Deceiving Bella by Cate Beauman - Book Spot Light and Give Away

Book Details:

Book Title: Deceiving Bella: Book #11 In The Bodyguards of L.A. County Series

Author: Cate Beauman

Category: Adult Fiction, 588 pages

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Createspace

Release date: October 13, 2016

Tour dates: May 22 to June 16, 2017

Content Rating: R (Sex scenes, language, some intense moments)

Book Description:

Isabella Colby has always yearned for normalcy. Now that she’s settled in LA, she finally has it. Good friends, a pretty home, and her thriving career as the Palisades’ top skincare specialist are a dream come true. Bella is content until she meets her hunky new neighbor, but her attraction to the blue-eyed cutie is the least of her worries when contacting her long-lost father threatens to destroy her happy life.

Reed McKinley is more than ready to forget the past. His seven-year stint as an NYPD detective nearly got him killed. His wounds have healed and he’s starting over as Ethan Cooke Security’s latest recruit. With sixty-hour workweeks and little time to himself, the last thing on his mind is a relationship. Then he bumps into the gorgeous woman next door.

Reed and Bella become fast friends. Before long, Reed discovers that Bella is keeping dangerous secrets. Bella may have the answers to decades-old questions he’s been searching for. Reed will risk it all to uncover the truth, but he soon realizes that the deeper he digs, the direr the consequences.

“This book captured my attention from the very beginning. The author did an excellent job of developing the characters and helping the reader feel like he was along for the story. I have enjoyed all of the books in this series, but I must say Deceiving Bella is one of my favorites!”

- Amazon Customer

Buy the Book:

Deceiving Bella is the eleventh book is the Bodyguards of L.A. County Series. Check out the first ten books here!

Book One

Morgan’s Hunter, the story of Morgan and Hunter. (4.2 Stars!)

Buy Now!

Morgan Taylor, D.C. socialite and wildlife biologist, leads a charmed life until everything changes with a phone call. Her research team has been found dead—slaughtered—in backcountry Montana.

As the case grows cold, Morgan is determined to unravel the mystery behind her friends’ gruesome deaths. Despite the dangers of a murderer still free, nothing will stand in her way, not even the bodyguard her father hires, L.A.’s top close protection agent, Hunter Phillips.

Sparks fly from the start when no-nonsense Hunter clashes with Morgan’s strong-willed independence. Their endless search for answers proves hopeless—until Hunter discovers the truth.

On the run and at the mercy of a madman, Morgan and Hunter must outsmart a killer to save their own lives.

"One thing I noticed right away was Hunter is smoking hot. This author captured his attractiveness well. Many romance authors have said their main character was good looking, but this was one of the very few times where I thought, "Wow. He's hot!" And let me tell you blonde-haired blue eyed guys are not my type. The author deserves some serious props here."

- Raven Reviewer

Book Two

Falling For Sarah, the story of Sarah and Ethan. (4.5 Stars / Award Winner!)

Buy Now!

Widow Sarah Johnson struggled to pick up the pieces after her life was ripped apart. After two years of grieving, she’s found contentment in her thriving business as photographer to Hollywood’s A-list and in raising her angel-faced daughter, Kylee…until bodyguard and long-time friend Ethan Cooke changes everything with a searing moonlight kiss.

Sarah’s world turns upside down as she struggles with her unexpected attraction to Ethan and the guilt of betraying her husband’s memory. But when blue roses and disturbing notes start appearing on her doorstep, she has no choice but to lean on Ethan as he fights to save her from a stalker that won’t stop until he has what he prizes most.

"This story, although starting sad with Jake's death, goes zero to sixty from there. A creepy, insane , psycho thrown in with HOT manly men always make for an awesome ride."

- Inside BJ's Head

Book Three

Hailey’s Truth, the story of Hailey and Austin. (4.4 Stars!)

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Hailey Roberts has never had it easy. Despite the scars of a tragic childhood, she’s made a life for herself. As a part-time student and loving nanny, she yearns for a family of her own and reluctant Austin Casey, Ethan Cooke Security’s best close protection agent.

Hailey’s past comes back to haunt her when her long lost brother tracks her down, bringing his dangerous secrets with him. At an emotional crossroads, Hailey accepts a humanitarian opportunity that throws her together with Austin, taking her hundreds of miles from her troubles, or so she thinks.

What starts out as a dream come true quickly becomes a nightmare as violence erupts on the island of Cozumel. Young women are disappearing, community members are dying—and the carnage links back to her brother.

As Austin struggles to keep Hailey’s past from destroying her future, he’s forced to make a decision that could turn her against him, or worse cost them both their lives.

"WOW. My head is in a whirl from this one. From the high intensity of Suspense, down to the oh-so yummy Romance, by far, Hailey and Austin have the hottest freaking scenes of the three books! ~ It's so good... or I'm so bad because--I hate to admit it--I reread the hotter than Hades scenes! I could read the entire novel again, and that's rare for me." 

- Hammy 

Book Four

Forever Alexa, the story of Alexa and Jackson. (4.4 Stars!)

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First grade teacher and single mother Alexa Harris is no stranger to struggle, but for once, things are looking up. The school year is over and the lazy days of summer are here. Mini-vacations and relaxing twilight barbeques are on the horizon until Alexa’s free-spirited younger sister vanishes.

Ransom calls and death threats force Alexa and her young daughter to flee their quiet home in Maryland. With nowhere else to turn, Alexa seeks the help of Jackson Matthews, Ethan Cooke Security’s Risk Assessment Specialist and the man who broke her heart.

With few leads to follow and Abby’s case going cold, Alexa must confess a shocking secret if she and Jackson have any hope of saving her sister from a hell neither could have imagined.

"FOREVER ALEXA is a book that is impossible to put down. I loved the first three books in this series, Morgan's Hunter, Falling for Sarah and Hailey's Truth, but FOREVER ALEXA is far and above my favorite in the series. That being said, I not only recommend but encourage readers of romantic suspense to give Ms. Beauman's books a try.....you will not be disappointed!!!"

- NicoleMD

Book Five

Waiting For Wren, the story of Wren and Tucker. (4.6 Stars!)

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Wren Cooke has everything she’s ever wanted—a thriving career as one of LA’s top interior designers and a home she loves. Business trips, mockups, and her demanding clientele keep her busy, almost too busy to notice Ethan Cooke Security’s gorgeous Close Protection Agent, Tucker Campbell.

Jaded by love and relationships in general, Wren wants nothing to do with the hazel-eyed stunner and his heart-stopping grins, but Tucker is always in her way. When Wren suddenly finds herself bombarded by a mysterious man’s unwanted affections, she’s forced to turn to Tucker for help.

As Wren’s case turns from disturbing to deadly, Tucker whisks her away to his mountain home in Utah. Haunted by memories and long-ago tragedies, Tucker soon realizes his past and Wren’s present are colliding. With a killer on the loose and time running out, Tucker must discover a madman’s motives before Wren becomes his next victim.

“I loved the book, the chemistry between all the players, always love it when a man knows what he wants and goes about getting it. Of course I did cry some tears and my spine tingled not just the suspense but the intimate times Tucker and Wren spent together and not just between the sheets.”

- Seawitch Reviews

Book Six

Justice For Abby, the story of Abigail and Jerrod. (4.6 Stars / Award Winner!)

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Fashion designer Abigail Harris has been rescued, but her nightmare is far from over. Determined to put her harrowing ordeal behind her and move on, she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life while eluding the men who want her dead.

The Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring is in ruins after Abby’s interviews with the police. The organization is eager to exact their revenge before her testimony dismantles the multi-million dollar operation for good.

Abby’s safety rests in the hands of former US Marshal, Jerrod Quinn. Serious-minded and obsessed with protocol, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest agent finds himself dealing with more than he bargains for when he agrees to take on his beautiful, free-spirited client.

As the trial date nears, Abby’s case takes a dangerous turn. Abby and Jerrod soon discover themselves in a situation neither of them expect while Jerrod fights to stop the ring from silencing Abby once and for all.

“I really thought this would be a routine bodyguard/subject book, boy was I wrong. Cate Beauman's characters popped! By the end of this book (which I read in one sitting) I was exhausted but replete… From paragraph to paragraph this story shifts and changes. The betrayals and surprises come at the reader at a furious pace. And while this story revolves around a very dark occurrence, there are enough moments that will make you smile, chuckle, snort and go "awwwww."

- Sebella Blue

Book Seven

Saving Sophie, the story of Sophie and Stone. (4.7 Stars / Award Winner!)

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Jewelry designer Sophie Burke has fled Maine for the anonymity of the big city. She’s starting over with a job she tolerates and a grungy motel room she calls home on the wrong side of town, but anything is better than the nightmare she left behind.

Stone McCabe is Ethan Cooke Security’s brooding bad boy more interested in keeping to himself than anything else—until the gorgeous blond with haunted violet eyes catches his attention late one rainy night.

Stone reluctantly gives Sophie a hand only to quickly realize that the shy beauty with the soft voice and pretty smile has something to hide. Tangled up in her secrets, Stone offers Sophie a solution that has the potential to free her from her problems once and for all—or jeopardize both of their lives.

Saving Sophie is truly a beautiful story... Cate has woven a meaningful story about a courageous woman who overcomes domestic violence to build a life for herself…The author beautifully shows the readers the struggles and fears that Sophie goes through to break free. There is pain in sorrow and beauty in the tears. The heroine is broken and whole. She survives to show us that if you have the courage and the will you can overcome all odds... Saving Sophie is about abuse, courage, romance, honor and so much more.”

Book Eight

Reagan’s Redemption, the story of Reagan and Shane. (4.5 Stars / Award Winner!)

Buy Now!

Doctor Reagan Rosner loves her fast-paced life of practicing medicine in New York City's busiest trauma center. Kind and confident, she's taking her profession by storm--until a young girl's accidental death leaves her shaken to her core. With her life a mess and her future uncertain, Reagan accepts a position as Head Physician for The Appalachia Project, an outreach program working with some of America's poorest citizens.

Shane Harper, Ethan Cooke Security's newest team member, has been assigned a three-month stint deep in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, and he's not too happy about it. Guarding a pill safe in the middle of nowhere is boring as hell, but when he gets a look at his new roommate, the gorgeous Doctor Rosner, things start looking up.

Shane and Reagan encounter more than a few mishaps as they struggle to gain the trust of a reluctant community. They're just starting to make headway when a man's routine checkup exposes troubling secrets the town will do anything to keep hidden--even if that means murder.

“Cate Beauman's eagerly anticipated book Reagan's Redemption the 8th book in her Bodyguards of La series did not disappoint! I have not found a book in a long time that I just could not put down. I literally stayed up until 2am reading. This book had it all, suspense, great hero, heroine, mystery, and romance. I believe Cate definitely knocked this one out of the part.”

- Jeannie K

Book Nine

Answers For Julie, the story of Julie and Chase. (4.6 Stars! / Award Winner)

Buy Now!

Julie Keller relishes the simple things: hot chocolate on winter nights, good friends she calls her family, and her laid-back career as a massage therapist and yoga instructor. Julie is content with her life until Chase Rider returns to Bakersfield.

Bodyguard Chase Rider isn’t thrilled to be back in the town where he spent his childhood summers. His beloved grandmother passed away, leaving him a house in need of major repairs. With a three-week timetable and a lot to do, he doesn’t have time for distractions. Then he bumps into Julie, the one woman he hoped never to see again. Chase tries to pretend Julie doesn’t exist, but ten years hasn’t diminished his attraction to the hazel-eyed stunner.

When a stranger grabs Julie’s arm at the grocery store—a woman who insists Julie’s life isn’t what it seems, Chase can’t help but get involved. Julie and Chase dig into a twenty-five-year-old mystery, unearthing more questions than answers. But the past is closer than they realize, and the consequences of the truth have the potential to be deadly.

“This series just gets better and better! I loved Answers for Julie - as with the whole series, it's a careful balance between suspense and romance, the characters are really well developed, and the plot moved at just the right pace with a fair number of surprises thrown in!”


Book Ten

Finding Lyla, the story of Lyla and Collin. (4.7 Stars!)

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Principal Dancer Lyla Markovik-Avery is always on the go. Grueling practices and endless performances rule her busy days--and things are about to get more hectic. Russia is rolling out the red carpet for their beloved star, despite the string of violent terrorist attacks that have rocked the nation.

Bodyguard Collin Michaels' life is falling apart. His long-time relationship recently ended. He's trying to start over, but that's easier said than done. Luckily, Collin has a new assignment on the horizon: keeping a beautiful ballerina safe for the next three weeks.

Collin finds comfort in Lyla's easy friendship, but that all changes after a night out on the town. Simple feelings become complicated--something Collin can't afford, especially when tragedy strikes and Collin realizes Lyla's caught in the middle of a dangerous plot for revenge.

Collin and Lyla are forced to flee. They need to reach the border before it's too late, but the odds are stacked against them in a country that wants them dead. With time running out, Collin formulates a risky plan that might be their only chance of making it out alive.

“In reading the synopsis, I wasn't sure how I would like this although I love all of Cate's books. Boy, was this a surprise for me. This book is wonderfully written with so many twists and turns, it was hard to put down. Such a beautiful love story with action, suspense, drama, and a bit of sadness too. I loved Lyla and felt sad because of how she felt she had to live her life. I also loved Collin and how he recognized the journey that Lyla needed to take. Of course, being a man, he is on his own journey of self realization as well. Wonderful story that I KNOW I will be reading again.”

- Ree Ree

Meet the Author:

International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on her twelfth full length novel.

Connect with Cate: 


to be notified about new books or discounts on earlier books.

Kindle readers! Please go to Cate's page on Amazon and click on the yellow Follow button to be notified when new books are available!

Amazon Author Page (buy links for all eleven books)
Barnes and Noble (buy now links for all eleven books)
Kobo (buy now links for all eleven books)

Enter the Giveaway!

Ends June 24

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until next time,

26 May, 2017

Save Elephants and feel Good - www.theelephantpants.com - [Product Review]

We all love Elephants, right? How about lively and lovely designs inspired by elephants?

 I stumbled upon a lots of them  @ www.theelephantpants.com.

Moreover, a portion of every sale through this site  goes to global projects focusing on saving wildlife and advancing knowledge  to cure Elephant diseases.

So, what is this site about and what work they do?

As a partner with the International Elephant Foundation, Elephantpants.com donates a portion of every sale to help create a sustainable future where elephants thrive. IEF is on the ground wherever there are elephants.  Since its inception, IEF has supported over 120 annual and long-term projects focused on the fight to save elephants.

This site has different products with trendy designs like yoga pants, harem pants, lounger pants, shorts, tees and kimonos to men, women and kids. There are beautiful home decor products like pillows, and accessories like hair bands, key chains, bracelets  and water bottles.

I chose to order and review these trendy yoga pants.  Let me go into the details of the product that I received for review.

I received a gray pant with 2 pockets, did you see that lovely design on the pockets? This is a classic yoga pant which is very comfortable and also fitting near the ankles. I loved the fact that it looked stylish and yet simple. The quality of the fabric is good and durable, even good for machine wash  and regular use. I would love to use these pants for my dance practice and yoga.

To see the complete collection of yoga pants, browse here.

I also liked these products from the site.

So, how do you like these products? Do let me know in comments.

Ps: I have received a product for free in exchange of an honest review and this is my unbiased opinion on the product.

Until next time,

25 May, 2017

#ThursdayTreeLove - 10

When the Sun tries to peek behind a tree, it's an amazing Sunset.

Linking this to #ThursdayTreeLove hosted by Parul.

Until next time,

24 May, 2017

Motherhood, Martyrdom, and Costco Runs by Whitney Dineen - [Book Review]

Date Published: May 15, 2017
Publisher: 33 Partners Publishing

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Join bestselling romantic comedy author, Whitney Dineen, as she discovers the three Es of parenting:

•         Exhilarating—when you first discover you’re pregnant.

•         Exhausting—when you realize you’ll most likely never sleep again--like EVER.

•         Explosive—OMG these kids spew from both ends!

And that’s just the beginning. Whitney shares the ridiculous highs and excruciating lows of her catapult into motherhood. Enjoy the ride as this new mom vows to give up profanity while falling in love with… you guessed it, Costco. Be careful, because if you’re anything like Whitney, you may just pee a little. 

Motherhood Martyrdom & Costco Runs takes the reader on a roller coaster of emotions as Whitney plummets into postpartum depression, desperately tries to get her kids to stop yodeling in public restrooms, and comes to terms with the fact she’ll never quite be queen of her own kingdom. Get ready to laugh, cry, cheer, and pat yourself on the back for the sake of mommies everywhere. And while you’re at it, stop by Costco for a case of toilet paper and a Very Berry Sundae. You won’t regret it!  

My Review:
I usually don't pick non-fiction books to read. This might be one of the very few non-fiction books that I read. I chose this book as it is related to parenting and it's fun to learn about other parent's exepriences and hardships, right?

This book is like having a conversation with the author who is a mom of 2 girls. The writing style is casual with a tinge of humour. The chapters and incidents are picked random. The author doesn't say what is ideal or that her parenting style is best but she admits her issues about parenting with grace and is proud to raise 2 lovely children.

Read some snippets from the book to get an idea of the book.

In fact,  they’re  so curious when  they first see  her,  my six-year-old yells out,  “Are you  some  kind  of superhero?” The  four-year-old contributes, “Halloween isn’t  until  October!” Of  course,  I’m  mortified  and try to  shush my  little troublemakers  as I  glance  apologetically  at the  hijab-donned stranger.

Trying  to explain  to  your  children  which truths they’re allowed to  talk about openly,  and which  they aren’t,  is like  trying to dismantle  a  mine  field,  in  a hail  storm,  without  a map,  while on fire.  If you  tell  them there’s  nothing  wrong  with  being  fat, they assume  telling  people  they’re  fat  is  okay.

 I’d  met  a woman  in  the  doctor’s  office  the  week before,  who  told me  she’d  had an  amniocentesis and  the  test came  back positive  for  Down  syndrome.  She  said she  and her husband struggled with what to  do.  They  already  had two  other children.  Both of  them  needed to  work to  support their  family. They didn’t know  how  they  could afford  or  cope  with  a  special needs  child.  They ultimately  decided to  have  the  baby,  but they both stopped  enjoying  the  pregnancy.  The  day she  went into labor  was  a solemn  one.  Then she  delivered.  And  you  know what?  Her  beautiful little  boy was born  perfectly normal,  no genetic  anomalies  whatsoever.  Surely that’s a  very rare  case,  but still,  it gives you  food for  thought.

Overall, it's a light read about parenting experience. We can have a hearty laugh comparing with our own experiences as a parent. 

My Rating:

Ps: I have received this free review copy through RABT book tours and this is my honest opinion on the book.

About the Author

While attending the University of Illinois in Chicago, Whitney Dineen was discovered by a local modeling agent and began an unexpected career as a plus-size Ford model. She modeled in New York City before moving to Los Angeles with her husband.
During “The Hollywood Years,” Whitney was bitten by the writing bug and started creating characters that are inspired by strong women with a great sense of humor. Her first romantic comedy, She Sins at Midnight, won a silver medal in the 2015 Reader’s Favorite awards. Her second, The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan, is a finalist in the 2016 RONE Awards, won a silver medal at the 2016 Reader’s Favorite Awards and won Honorable Mention at the London Book Festival. Her third chick-lit book, Mimi Plus Two, is causing all kinds of controversy and who the heck knows where it will land. Although, it was a finalist in the Reader’s Favorite Awards and a Runner-Up at the London Book Festival.

In addition to her love of chick-lit, Whitney has also written a series of adventure books for middle readers. The first two books in her series, Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory and Who the Heck is Harvey Stingle? are both available now. Book three, Beware of the Basement, is due to be released in the spring of 2017.

Whitney and her husband, Jimmy, have relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest to raise their children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

Contact Links

Purchase Link

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Until next time,

23 May, 2017

THE CONNECTICUT CORPSE CAPER by Tyler Colins - [Book Spot Light]

Book Description

Five inheritance recipients—in addition to Jill, cousin Rey and BFF Linda—arrive at an eerie (reputedly haunted) Connecticut mansion, primed for a week-long stay. Two-hundred thousand dollars will be awarded to each person, but should someone leave early, for whatever reason, his or her share will be divided among those remaining.

The family lawyer passes in the drawing room after dinner. Perhaps he was heavy and out-of-shape, but he never appeared that unhealthy. Enter the sheriff and deputy; exit same, with body, into a misty and frigid November night.

The puzzling death prompts the three women to eagerly don amateur sleuth hats. Curious, others soon join in the sleuthing, and the bumbling and stumbling—and mayhem—begin.

Enter and exit the sheriff and deputy several more times as the body count mounts . . . until there is no option but to remain.

When eccentric and not-so-deceased Aunt Mat dramatically announces a return from the dead, everyone is thrown into a tizzy. That dither intensifies when the grande dame explains that the demise had been feigned to ensnare the person(s) responsible for monetary and in-house thefts.

As an ice storm approaches, legal sorts fall mysteriously ill. Tensions mount as fingers point accusingly and tongues flap crossly. The determined investigative trio discover that it’s not only hidden rooms and passageways that conceal deep, dark secrets.

The Connecticut Corpse Caper is the perfect escape for those who love old B&W whodunit mysteries set in creepy oversize mansions filled with quirky guests, hidden passageways, and disappearing and reappearing corpses.

Excerpt #4 (Scene from Chapter 8)
He and his sister were alongside us, Rey and Linda ahead, Jensen and May-Lee behind. We had dressed appropriately for the day: jeans, thick sweaters under heavy jackets, decent walking shoes or boots, and hats, gloves and/or scarves. It had gotten much colder since yesterday and even colder since early this morning. The mist that had veiled the area last night had disappeared before dawn.

Considering all that had transpired, everyone appeared in relatively good spirits, but then a lemon sun, the crisp smells of fall, and the tranquility of a countryside afternoon could do the soul good. A distant train rumbled and sounded, a couple of horns honked like cross Canada geese, and a trio of playful dogs raced along a neighbor’s property line.

“Too bad it’s gone to seed,” Rey said over her shoulder.
“Gone to seed?” Percival laughed. “My dear girl, it bloody well always looks like this.” With each passing hour, the man was sounding more and more artificially British.

My cousin stopped in her tracks and turned. “You’re joking?”

“Not in the least. The Moones have always had eclectic tastes.” He laughed again and motioned her onward, down a winding fine-pebbled path that lead to the rear of the property. Wizened shrubs and weeds -- or maybe the desiccated things had been flowers at one time -- lined the length.

With a creased brow, she looked from him to Prunella, who had Swarovski Pocket Tyrol binoculars focused on some trees, to the fountain and back. “Uh yeah, whatever. Okay, I say we walk to the fish pond at the far rear. Or is it a swamp?”

“A fish pond,” May-Lee confirmed, adjusting a silk twill scarf with an Inuit motif over auburn waves.

She smirked. “With piranha, no doubt.”

“We-ell, there -- ”

Her hand flew up. “Man, I do so not want to know, thanks.”

“Oh my!” Prunella grabbed her brother’s arm and pointed. “Look Perc, a Western Kingbird!” She nearly jammed the optical instrument into his eyeballs.

“A Tyrannus verticalis? You’re sure?” He didn’t sound half as excited, but trained the binoculars where she’d pointed.

“What?” Adwin asked under his breath. “No yellow-bellied Sapsucker?”

I jostled him gently.

“It’s gone now.” Percival passed back the binoculars.

“But I saw it!” she shrilled.

He chuckled and hooked an arm around her shoulders. “I don’t doubt you. How exciting. Almost as thrilling as the time you sighted the Sphyrapicus varius.”

Linda asked what that was.

“A yellow-bellied Sapsucker.”

Adwin did a Rey thing and snorted, and sent an elbow not so lightly into my ribs. I reciprocated. Linda bah-hah-hahed (I thought only cartoon characters and drunken barrel-bellied frat boys laughed like that) while Prunella returned to her binoculars.
“Did you know pigeons pop?” Linda asked, her expression one of young Lindsay Lohan I-did-no-such-thing innocence.

Okay, I’d bite. “They ‘pop’?”

“Yes,” she twinkled. “Once, right beside me, a cab ran over one. Pop the pigeon went -- pop! You know, like that fun bubble-wrap packaging you squeeze for fun.” She demonstrated with her fingers. “Pop, pop!”

Rey laughed like a kid embarking on her first rollercoaster ride. I grinned like I’d received the compliment of my life while May-Lee turned to the horizon, biting her lip. Prunella lowered the binoculars and appeared appalled, her face as pale as ostrich down.

Linda winked and Jensen gave a you-little-vixen look.

About the Author:
Tyler Colins is chiefly a writer of fiction and blog posts (but occasionally creates film scripts, and business and sales plans). She’s also a sometimes editor and proofreader. Her fiction focus is primarily mysteries, though she has started to dabble in women’s fiction (weekly installments of Odd Woman Out can be found on Wattpad).

Her first book, The Connecticut Corpse Caper, was written as a one-off, but the ever-enthusiastic amateur sleuths pleaded, cried, cajoled, and even offered bribes to return; she had to oblige. Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie? and Coco’s Nuts! are the second and third in the Triple Threat series. The fourth, Forever Poi, should be available this summer.

Please feel free to visit her current blog (a new one is in the works):

Friend her on Facebook:

Follow her at Twitter:
Tyler Colins@UsBound3



Until next time,

22 May, 2017

Ponni's Beloved by Sumeetha Manikandan - [Book Review]

The Schedule of the Tour can be seen here 

Ponni's Beloved 

Volume 1. New Floods 


Sumeetha Manikandan


Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Ponniyin Selvan is a masterpiece that has enthralled generations of Tamil readers. Many authors have written phenomenal books in Tamil literature after Kalki Krishnamurthy, but Ponniyin Selvan remains the most popular, widely-read novel. It has just the right mixture of all things that makes an epic – political intrigue, conspiracy, betrayal, huge dollops of romance, infidelity, seduction, passion, alluring women, unrequited love, sacrifice and pure love.

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My Review

It's been a long time since i read a lengthy novel above 300 pages. This novel is interesting throughout even though it is lengthy. 'Ponniyan selvan' which is the original of this translated work is already a popular novel in Tamilnadu. All my Tamil friends re-iterated the same. So, my expectations were really high before even i started reading it.

The story is set in the era of Cholan ruler Sundara chola and it is all about the politics in the kingdom, the beauty of the place , its culture and people. Even though the story covers more in the perspective of the warrior Vandiya Devan, the prince Aditya also impresses a lot. The characterization of Princess Kunduvai, Vanathi and NandinI is very good but since this is only a first part of the series, reader don't get enough of information about them.

The narration with glossary of information is interesting. It is a bit difficult to remember the names of characters for a non-Tamilian and I felt, a one line brief about each character in the appendix would have been helpful. A map of the Cholan kingdom would have been helpful too.

The storyline is impressive with great narration and good explanation of historic events and culture in the middle. My only complaint is that the end is abrupt leaving me disappointed turning the last pages again and again to see if I missed something.  There are some grammatical mistakes which have been avoided with proper review. I appreciate the translation effort of the Author and I liked the way she explained Tamil poems too.  Overall, a wonderful read and I would love to read other parts in the Series too. 

My Rating : 4.5/5

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

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“I have brought important information for all of you. That’s why I asked the noble Sambuverayar to invite us all here. Maharaja Sundara Chola’s health has been steadily deteriorating. I secretly asked our royal physician, and he says that there is absolutely no chance of his health improving. His days are numbered. And it is up to us, to think about the future of the royal throne.”

“What do the astrologers say?” asked one of the noble men.

“Why ask the astrologers? Haven’t you seen the comet that has been appearing in the sky, for the past few weeks? They say whenever a comet appears, there will be death in the royal family,” said another.

“I have asked the astrologers as well, and they say that the king might live for some more time. Anyway, we will have to decide who should ascend the throne next,” said Pazhuvetarayar.

“What is the use of discussing that now? Aditya Karikalan was made the Crown Prince two years ago,” said one of the noblemen.

“True. But before he took that decision, did Sundara Chola consult any of us? We all have stood by the Chola Kingdom with loyalty and have sacrificed our sons and grandsons in the battlefield. Even now warriors from each of our clans have gone to Elangai to fight for the Chola Kingdom. Don’t you think we deserve the right to be consulted about who should be the next heir to the throne? Even King Dasaratha asked his council of ministers, before deciding to crown Rama. But our Sundara Chola didn’t think it necessary to consult anyone…”

About the author

"Sumeetha Manikandan is a top bestselling romance author whose novellas ‘Perfect Groom’ and ‘These Lines of Mehendi’ (which was published as a paperback novel called ‘Love Again’) have been on the top of Amazon India charts ever since its publication. A bookaholic, thinker, feminist and a daydreamer, she reads across genres and is a crazy fan of history, romance and science fiction novels.

An avid reader of historical novels, she has been translating Kalki Krishnamurthy’s classic Tamil novel Ponniyin Selvan for the past ten years and hopes to translate more of his novels to English.

Sumeetha is married to filmmaker K.S. Manikandan and lives with her nine-year-old daughter in Chennai."

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