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

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 Stellangård, 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 Stellangård - 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!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

In the USA, schools are reopening soon. 

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.

back to school products

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.  Do you like them?

3. School Bags

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

For Pre-schooler

Over to the moon 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 $8.

I trust Ticonderoga brand for pencils. These pre-sharpened pencils come for $5.69.

5. Clothes

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

I like these from Children's place - 3 for $15

Try these Jeans starting at $10


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

Enjoy the holidays till then :-)

Until next time,

15 July, 2018

Bombay Heights by Adite Banerjee - Cover Reveal

Bombay Heights


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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Until next time,

09 July, 2018

The Berlin Tunnel by Roger L Liles - Cover Reveal

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Thriller / Historical Fiction
Date Published: October 1, 2018
Publisher: Acorn Publishing

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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

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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,

06 July, 2018

My Gratitude List for June 2018 #GratitudeCircle

June is my birthday month. So, usually, it will be all fun and happy every year. Moreover, I met my parents and sister after a long time, which calls for more happiness and celebration.

I have imbibed a new philosophy in my life. Here it is..

While forgiving is not easy for me, Forgetting is a bliss. I forget many things from the past and so, it is easy to forget something which hurt in the past. But, I cannot forgive anyone easily. I can only isolate myself from those people and try not to hurt them from my words. But, it is not easy for me to forgive them wholeheartedly. Maybe someday, I will be there. 

Appreciating the little things in our life and being thankful are the initial steps that we can take to make our life happy. Won't you agree?

I am grateful to :

1. Mangoes
You might laugh at this one but I never loved mangoes so much in my life until I missed them for 2 years in the USA. We used to get some mangoes in the USA but not as good as the ones that we get in India. Myself and my kids literally indulged in the sweetness of this seasonal fruit :-)

2. Shirdi Trip
From childhood, this is the only trip that we used to take every year with the family and enjoy the family time together. We didn't visit any other place nearby other than Shirdi since it was tough to travel with kids.  Anyways, we visited all the nearby places like Ajanta, Ellora, Nasik, Trayambakeshwar etc., in our earlier visits. 

3. A visit to our dance school
I have met our dance and music teacher after many years. I also danced Kuchipudi trying to remember the dance steps that I learned 15 years ago. It made me really happy that I could remember 70% of it. We have also visited one of our old family friends.

4. Meeting my old friends
Fortunately, I could meet my school and college mates as they were on town at the same time. Meeting their children and knowing about their families and jobs was just an awesome experience.

5. Aksharabyasam Pooja
We did Aksharabhyasam pooja to our younger one at our in-laws' house. I am happy that the kid didn't irritate much during pooja and cooperated well to write his first words on the slate. This is the first step to learning and gaining knowledge as per our tradition. 

How did you find last month? What are you thankful for? Do let me know in comments.

Until next time,

Linking this to #GratitudeCircle hosted by Vidya Sury. 

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