29 June, 2017

#ThursdayTreeLove 15 - A drive in between the trees

We loved this drive between tall trees at Rocky mountain national park, Co, USA.
Linking this post to #ThursdayTreeLove hosted by Parul.

Until next time,

28 June, 2017

Love, Murder & Mayhem - [Book Review]

Love science fiction stories that all include elements ofLove, Murder & Mayhem?

Then welcome to the latest anthology from Crazy 8 Press! This amazing collection from 15 all-star authors will delight you with superheros and supervillains. AIs, off-worlders, and space cruisers. We’ve also got private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travelers, aliens and monsters—and one DuckBob!

With tales ranging from wild and wacky to dark and gritty to heartbreaking and fun, take the deadly leap with authors Meriah Crawford, Paige Daniels, Peter David, Mary Fan, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman Paul Kupperberg, Karissa Laurel, Kelly Meding, Aaron Rosenberg, Hildy Silverman, Lois Spangler, Patrick Thomas, and editor Russ Colchamiro.

You’ll never look at Love, Murder & Mayhem the same way again—and that’s just the way we like it.

My Review

I don't like sci fi though i love anthology. This book has a good collection of stories with romance, revenge and murders. All stories have a sci fi background. Usually, we see a lot of imagination in scifi stories but this book has a combination of emotional stories. 

I should really appreciate the editor for selecting good stories and sequencing them well. 

Though I couldn't relate to one or 2 stories, most of them made sense and they are interesting. The cover of the book and the title are very apt. I felt that most of the stories are a bit lengthy. This is my first sci-fi book and i really enjoyed reading it.

I personally liked the story 'fractured'.

I would recommend this to scifi lovers who want to try something different.

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

My Rating: 3.5/5

About the Editor

Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the hilarious sci-fi backpacking comedy series, Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the new anthology, Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.

Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, and Altered States of the Union, and TV Gods 2. He is now at work on a top-secret project, and a Finders Keepers spin-off.

As a matter of full disclosure, readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being sucked through a tornado. It’s just how he gets around — windier than the bus, for sure, but much quicker.

Breathing two worlds by Ruchira Khanna - [Book Review]

About the Book:

Neena Arya, a Delhi-born goes abroad for
further studies and decides to settle down there. Determined to be a 'somebody'
from a 'nobody' she blends with the Americans via the accent and their
mannerisms while having a live-in relationship with her European boyfriend,
Adan Somoza.

When illness hits home, Neena rushes to
meet her ailing dad. Tragedy strikes and amidst the mingling with relatives and
friends, she finds herself suffocated with the two different cultures that she
has been breathing since she moved to the United States. How will she strike a
balance between both the cultures as she continues to support her widowed
mother? Will she be able to do justice to her personal and professional life
after the loss?

Amidst the adjusting she bonds with an
ally and learns about ties beyond blood. On what grounds will she be able to
form an invisible thread that she has longed for since childhood?

Breathing Two Worlds ventures into
cultures and ethnicity allowing Neena to ponder upon her foundation and


Book Trailer: 

My Review:

Breathing two worlds is the story of headstrong, ambitious and Independent woman Neena, who is confused between the Indian and the American cultures as she grows up in India with different values and studies and works in the US following an independent life adapting to that culture. Neena chooses Adan as her life partner and starts a live-in relationship against her culture. Though it is easy for her to impress Adan's parents, she couldn't reveal her love to her parents until her Father's death and she is worried about the differences between the values and ethnicity of two worlds (India and US).

She gets more clarity on the purpose of her life when she works as a volunteer in a hospital and helps a veteran Mr.Khan to reunite with his daughter who is separated by the cultural clash.

The book talks about many people who live/ grow up/ study/ work in another state, adapting to another culture and still struggling to retain their home country's cultures and values. Though the subject of the book is great, I felt, it is stretched a lot. I liked only the last 1/4th portion of the book. The writing style is very casual and it is a light read. I felt like there is something missing in the book because of which I couldn't understand the feelings of Neena better. The characterization of Adan is impressive and that of his sister Chamorro is lovely. 

A few lines from the book that talks about the two worlds:

“In States, I don’t even know my neighbor while I am expected to share a
cup of sugar with my near-by resident in India. People don’t have the time to judge
in the US, but it’s totally the opposite in the country of my birth. As an individual, we
can’t express our emotions as wholeheartedly in India since people are concerned of
the wagging tongues. We have to have a decent job, a respectable title, and a
generous amount of ‘latest’ materialistic collection for a ‘status’ in the society. While
I have observed that my colleagues are at liberty to live their life. They can do
whatever they want, be whatsoever in their life, party like an animal as if there is no
tomorrow. Unfortunately, that was not the case for me. I was monitored like a hawk

Culture and ethics bind us as a family, and since America is a
region of immigrants there is a tendency to get lost in its’ diversity making the
upbringing of the child very confusing.

My Rating: 3/5

Ps: I have received this book from the author in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion on the book.

the Author:
Ruchira Khanna, a biochemist turned
writer, left her homeland of India to study in America, where she obtained her
Master’s degree in Biochemistry from SJSU and a degree in Technical Writing
from UC Berkeley.

After finishing her studies, Ruchira
worked as a biochemist at a Silicon Valley startup for five years. After the
birth of her son, Ruchira took a job as a technical writer, so that she could
work from home. Soon, she began doing freelance writing work as well.

Her love of writing grew and she started
working on her own books. After four years of freelancing, Ruchira published
her first book, a fiction novel for adults called Choices.

Then came the children’s book The
Adventures of Alex and Angelo: The Mystery of the Missing Iguana. She got a
thumb’s up review from Kirkus Reviews.

In January 2016, she has published her
second fictional novel Voyagers into the Unknown. It talks about the quest for
happiness as the heavy hearted tourists travel miles from different parts of
the world to Raj Touristry in Agra, India. Return to their respective home with
a healed heart. This book talks about their journey!

In Breathing Two Worlds, Ruchira talks
about ethnicity and cultures, and helps to strike a balance via a fiction-drama
novel as her characters breathe two worlds.

In addition to writing books, she is a
holistic healer associated with Stanford Healing Partners and also maintains a
blog of daily mantras on Blogspot, called Abracabadra. Ruchira currently
resides in California with her family.

her on:
Website Blog

Until next time,

24 June, 2017

Gandhi - A graphic novel by Jason Quinn - [Book Review]

Book Details: 

Book Title: Gandhi : My Life is my Message 
Author: Jason Quinn
Illustrator: Sachin Nagar
Genre: Graphic Novel, Biography
Publisher: Campfire Graphic Novels (June 19, 2016)
Length of the book: 212 pages
Source: Picked from local library 


How did this shy, unassuming lawyer transform himself into the leader of India’s freedom movement? Renouncing wealth, ambition, and comfort, Gandhi led by example, becoming one with the people he sought to free, facing imprisonment, hardship, and humiliation while never raising his voice in anger.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as the Mahatma or Great Soul, took on the might of the British Empire armed only with a message of love and non-violence. In Gandhi: My Life is My Message we discover the man behind the legend, following him from his birth in the Indian coastal town of Porbandar in 1869, to the moment of his tragic death at the hands of an assassin in January 1948, just months after the independence of India.

My Review:

This is my first graphic novel and I came to know about this book through a women's group. I have already read Mahatma Gandhi's autobiography 'The Story of my experiments with truth' in my childhood. So, I have some expectations set on this book before reading it.

This book is in the first person, as said by Gandhi himself. Even though the book covers all his important life events, it highlights more on his morals and why he believed in them. This book also portrays clearly the dilemma faced by Gandhi in different situations and how he has overcome a lot of problems undeterred. It is definitely an inspiring read. The autobiography of Gandhi is more detailed than this graphic novel. This novel seems like a quick recap or summary of the autobiography. One thing I liked most about the book is, it also portrays the dilemma in Gandhiji's mind when someone suggests him to go against his conscience. The clarity of his thought, ability to take the right decision, his patience and reasoning behind each decision are very well depicted in the book. I personally liked the details about his role during India and Pakistan partition and his feelings. 

The concepts of Satyagraha, self-reliance by using spinning/charkha, Enabling villages, leading a simple life, his opinion on Untouchability and finally, the Quit India movement is very inspiring to learn about. 

Reading a graphic novel is a better experience than reading only text. Illustrations by Sachin are good.

I would recommend this book to people of all ages and especially young, as there is a lot to learn from Mahatma Gandhi, our Father of the Nation. 

PS: I have picked this book from the library and this is my honest opinion on the book.

My Rating:

Purchase Link:

About the Author:

Jason Quinn learned to read with comic books, and while most kids in his school dreamed of becoming astronauts or firemen, he always wanted to work in comics. He has worked in television, radio and publishing and has written for such characters as Spider-Man, Ben 10, and the Incredible Hulk. He co-wrote two books with his writing partner, Jonathan Magnanti, under the name Quinn Magnanti, those books were The Palace of Wonder and Leeds LS80. Before writing Steve Jobs: Genius by Design, he scripted New Baby Productions adaptation of the HG Wells classic, the Chronic Argonauts. He now lives and works in Delhi as Campfire Graphic Novels' Creative Content Head.

Until next time,

22 June, 2017

Chatur the Laundry man by Subhash Kommuru - Book Spot Light

Children’s Book
Date Published: October 2016

What can a business man, a lazy donkey, and an elephant teach kids about success and friendship? Read along to find out in this playful romp by the award-winning author of The Magic of Friendship!

Chatur the Laundry Man is a funny, lighthearted story with a subtle lesson. Chatur thinks of nothing but growing his business, but his friend Gadhu the donkey keeps telling him to take it easy. When Chatur has a bright idea to get more business, things seem to be going his way but take an unexpected turn. Will Chatur learn that sometimes success takes a little time and patience?

Praise for Chatur the Laundry Man:
"5 Star ... a humorous tale.. illustrations are comical.. highly recommended.." - Readers Favorite Review

".. kids will receive 3 fine messages the value of hard work, what happens when a push for profit supersedes quality of life, and how different approaches to work and play yield very singular results." - Midwest Book Review

Subhash and Sujata Kommuru are a husband and wife team, known for their award-winning range of children’s books. They aim to introduce the vibrant culture of India to the children of the United States, the country which has been their home for several years.
Subhash began writing when he became a father. He created stories for his young son about his own childhood in India, to help his son understand the culture and values of his heritage.

Subhash’s wife, Sujata, is an illustrator, who soon began creating pictures to accompany her husband’s words. Her illustrations bring to life the colorful images of her own Indian childhood, giving children a vivid insight into a diverse culture.
Together, Subhash and Sujata offer children the chance to experience the life of an Indian child, and understand a culture vastly different from their own, while enjoying the simple similarities shared by children all over the world.
Their books are entertaining at the same time as being educational, and they have been honored for excellence by the prestigious Mom’s Choice Awards.
With universal themes including friendship and the importance of self-expression, Subhash and Sujata’s books provide children with an all-important introduction to the diversity of the world they live in. Read them together and they’ll become firm favorites that your child will enjoy again and again.

Contact Information

Purchase Links
Until next time,

21 June, 2017

#ThursdayTreeLove 14

Captured this on my evening walk.

Linking this to #ThursdayTreeLove hosted by Parul.

                  Until next time,

20 June, 2017

The Top of the world experience - Pikes Peak, CO, USA

The beauty of mountains, snow and the view from higher altitudes always give a wonderful experience. We visited the Pikes Peak summit by train and here are some details about our trip. This is really a "Top of the World " Experience. Pikes Peak is known as 'fourteener', which means one of the peaks in Colorado which is above 14k feet above sea level.

Pikes Peak is the highest summit in the Southern front range of the Rocky Mountains in North America. The summit is at an altitude of 14,100 ft above sea level and it is the second most visited mountain in the world after Japan's Mount Fiji.

Fortunately, it's very nearer to the place where we live.

There are 3 ways to reach the summit -
1. by hiking (through 13 mile Barr trail)
2. by Rail (through 8.9 mile Pikes Peak Cog Railway) - Cog railway is reopening now in 2021.
3. by Road(through 19 mile Pikes Peak Highway)

We went to the summit by Rail and we are yet to explore the other ways. The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is the highest rack railway in the world and unlike conventional railroads which use the friction of wheels upon rails called 'adhesion' to provide locomotive power, the Cog Railway uses a gear or a cog wheel which helps it to climb a steeper grade.

This beautiful red train has 2 to 3 coaches with big windows to experience the best view of the mountains. The top speed of Cog Railway is 9 mph and it uses double cog or abt system.

The train passes through Ruxton Creek and climbs to more height gradually. At the half of the distance, we get to see a view covering over 300 miles and as per the guide, even the Kansas border is seen. We see a lake, lot of Aspen trees and also 2000-year-old bristlecone pine trees. We saw some squirrels and deer too in our trip. Our round trip duration is around 3 hrs 10 mins excluding the time spent on the peak.

The peak of the summit gives excellent views of mountains and the city of Colorado Springs. We also tasted the world famous crispy and tasty donuts on the summit.

The temperature at the summit is around 12-degree centigrade on a summer evening at 6 pm in June. It is always at least half of the temperature at the base. The above photo is taken in summer. You can imagine how it would be in winter! 

So, that's about our train trip to the Pikes Peak. How do you like it? Do let me know in comments. 

More Such Travelogues here:

1. A day with flowers and gardens, Denver, CO, USA

2. Hanging lake and hot springs, Glenwood springs, CO, USA 

3. Golden leaves and Gondola rides, Aspen, CO, USA

4. Rocky mountain national park #day 1

5. Rocky mountain national park #day 2 

6. Limestone caves and cliff dwellings, Colorado springs, CO, USA

7. Unique Statues and Ice Sculptures - Loveland, CO, USA

Until next time,

Changing Places by Anne K Edwards - [Book Review]

Changing Places, by Anne K. Edwards
Age level: 4-8
Price: $1.99
Pages: 14
Find on Amazon 

Changing Places. A black cat named Whiskers encounters a snake that has lost his home when he goes outside to see the world.

My Review

This is a good story book for children between the ages of 4 and 8. My Elder son is 6 years old and I read this story with him. 

This is the story of a pet cat Whiskers and a black snake. The conversation between them is innocent and funny as they don't know about others lifestyle except theirs. The cat assumes that everyone eats their food which comes in cans like she does and is surprised that the snake likes to eat mice. These type of conversations are interesting to kids as they also don't know much about what kind of food animals eat and what they like. 

The story is in the perspective of the snake and cat. They both decide to switch their places and the story is about what they both find out by doing so. 

The writing style is casual and easy to understand for children without any complex vocabulary. The illustrations are very cute (Snake doesn't look venomous but looks friendly :-)) and apt for the story. My Son enjoyed the story and was eager to listen to the complete story. 

My Rating: 4.5/5

 PS: I have received this book from the author through book r3vi3w tours and this is my honest opinion on the book.

About the Author:  
Anne K. Edwards enjoys writing tales for children when she’s not focusing on a mystery. Some stories are ideas taken from little misadventures of her cat who actually did fall off the porch and land on a large blacksnake as it was sunning itself. Both were more than a little surprised.

Until next time,

Your Crossroads. Your Choice. by EJ Apicello - Release Blitz

Non Fiction / Self-Help
Date Published: June 2017 
Publisher: Page Publishing

Welcome to my diary, my journey, as I tripped and crawled through the darkest time in my life- when I witnessed  people that I held incredibly close to me shatter my very existence with their words and actions. The things within this book spine are extremely raw and exceptionally real. You and I are going to get very close, the details in this book, although oddly general, are incredibly specific. Yes, I realize what I just said and as you read my words you will see what I mean. As you silently gasp and mentally bitch slap me, please be kind because my story is just that - my story. It is not any more or less special than yours. In fact the only difference between our stories are the choices we made at each of the crossroads in our lives. For most of my life the choices I made were not based on my happiness but on everyone else’s. This book describes what I have experienced in my journey to finding my happiness and hopefully never letting it go. Sadly, it took me thirty six years to find the strength I need to detoxify my life and self-view and find someone who is worthy of my awesomeness. Thirty six years to shatter the negative foundation I had built shatter the ultimate representative I created to hide behind and begin the process of building a new foundation. Only this foundation will be built on strength, confidence and above all, happiness. So take a minute or thirty and sit with my story for a while. You never know what you might find out.

About the Author:

Welcome to my real, crazy, emotional, probably too honest journey. I am an everyday girl in this everyday world trying to keep my head above water and within the pages of this book you will learn about the things that have broken me down and the steps I am taking to build back up. You will see, my new friends, this story is written in a unique, general, conversational voice, which was my choice. I want you to be able to picture yourself in my shoes, relate my trials and tribulations to yours and see that you too can find your happiness. Even if you don’t realize this yet, every single one of us possesses things inside of ourselves that we didn't know were there. It took my life taking a crazy right turn and dumping me at the lowest possible point before I could see the strength within myself. We are not defined by what we do, we are defined by the choices we make. I decided when I put pen to paper that I want my choices to start defining me as strong, confident, secure and above all else, happy. So, who am I? How about I tell you who I was. A self-loathing shell of myself who put everyone else’s happiness before my own. Herein lies my story to find that happiness and all of the ups and downs along the way. See who I was and who I am trying to become and maybe, somewhere in there, you will find out a little about yourself too.

Contact Information
Twitter: @ejapicello
Instagram: @ejapicello

Purchase Links

Until next time,

13 June, 2017

The Bridge of the Golden Wood by Karl Beckstrand - Sale Blitz

Children’s Book
Date Published: February 2017

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Careers, entrepreneurship

“Masterful … An immensely appealing book because of its readable style … and its realistic but soft Asian-style illustrations.” – Crystie Cook, poet.

A child with a knack for solving problems helps some hungry fish and finds a treasure. Illustrated folk tale teaches how to spot opportunities to help others and make money; comes with ideas for businesses; money-making activities; and online resources on finding customers, managing money, job ideas, and moving up in an organization (for kids ages 4 and up). Young children will be captivated by the story; older ones will want to apply the things they learn about business. Teach someone to fish. This how-to book on work bridges the gap between what kids learn in school about jobs, careers, small business, finance, economics, and what they should know (how to serve others).

About the Author

Karl Beckstrand is the bestselling and award-winning author of 19 multicultural/multilingual books and more than 50 ebook titles (reviews by Kirkus, School Library Journal, The Horn Book blog, ForeWord Reviews). Raised in San Jose, CA, he has a B.A. in journalism from BYU, an M.A. in international relations from APU, and a broadcast & film certificate from Film A. Academy. Since 2004 he has run Premio Publishing. His survival western, To Swallow the Earth won a 2016 International Book Award. A college media instructor, Beckstrand has presented to Taiwan’s Global Leadership for Youth, city and state governments, festivals, and schools. Beckstrand's nationally lauded Y.A. stories, e-book mysteries, ESL/ELL Spanish/bilingual books, nonfiction, and wordless books feature ethnically diverse characters—and usually end with a twist. His work has appeared in: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Border’s Books, Costco, Deseret Book, iBooks, The Children’s Miracle Network, LDS Film Festival, the U.S. Congressional Record, Papercrafts Magazine, and various broadcasts. FB, Twitter, http://KarlBeckstrand.com

Contact Links

Purchase Links
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Until next time,

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