26 June, 2019

The Adventures of Tavish the Tractor by Anne K. Stewart - [Book Review]





 Summary: 
Meet Tavish the Tractor, he's a bit different from the other tractors, but that doesn't mean he can't be a busy tractor! Let him show you how!

Information about the Book 
Title: The Adventures of Tavish the Tractor
Author: Anne K. Stewart 
Release Date: 27th June 2019 
Genre: Picture Book
Page Count: 26 
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing 

My Review

This book is perfect for my 4-year-old who loves tractors. 

Tavish, the tractor is painted purple by mistake, unlike other tractors who are blue and red. So, everyone chose blue and red tractors leaving the purple one. The purple tractor also wants to be busy and helpful. 

At last Jimmy's family chooses the purple truck naming him 'Tavish'. 

The first useful lesson my 4-year-old learned is that mixing blue and red, we get a purple color. He also understood about seasons and how a tractor can be used on the farm.

The illustrations are very cute. I loved the colors and the trucks. The title of the book is apt and the book cover suits the story. The rhyming poem in the story is easy to sing for kids.

I would suggest this book to 3 to 5-year-olds who love vehicles. 

My Rating: 4.5/5

PS: I have received this review copy through authoright in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion of the book.


 Author Information 


Anne K Stewart is a retired teacher, who specialised in the Pre-school sector.  She is delighted to have been able to write something for her two young grandsons. “The Arrival of Tavish the Tractor” is her first book. Stewart currently lives in Aberdeen, Scotland.






Tour Schedule 



 Monday 24th June

Tuesday 25th June

Wednesday 26th June

Thursday 27th June

Friday 28th June

Saturday 29th June

Sunday 30th June

Monday 1st July

Tuesday 2nd July


Wednesday 3rd July

Thursday 4th July

Friday 5th July

Saturday 6th July

Sunday 7th July

 Until next time,


23 June, 2019

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - [Book Review]

Book Details:
Title : The Girl on the train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Genre: Psychological thriller, fiction, mystery
Print Length : 326 pages
Source: A copy from the local Library




Blurb:

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train...

My Review :

The Girl on the train is a great psychological thriller. The story is narrated in the perspective of  2 ladies. Rachel who is divorced and still couldn't cope up with her single life even after 2 years is a regular commuter by train to the office. Since she is frustrated with her life, she fancies watching 'Megan' from train daily and thinking of how lucky she is to have a loving husband and a happy life. 

While Megan seems to be a happy wife to her loving husband Scott, she has her own problems to deal with. While her past still haunts, she is not able to reciprocate her love to Scott. 

While the story is narrated through both of these characters, an unexpected incident involves Rachel in Megan's life. Megan is dead and Rachel thinks that she could be of some help to give important information to Police on her disappearance. Unfortunately, her involvement makes her entangled in deep trouble but, the investigation also helps her to make peace with the past. 

A good page turner, indeed. I loved the characterization. It is interesting to understand the deep layers of each character through the narration. Characterization and mystery element made me read the book continuously. I didn't read it in one go but would have done it if I wasn't busy with office and home.

One more plus is the narration. I liked the way the suspense is maintained till the end and how things are revealed gradually in the story. 

I know, it is a best seller and so, I had high expectation on the book. This book has met all my expectations. If you love psychological thrillers, you might like this book.

My Rating : 4.5/5

Read my Review of Paula's other book - Into the Water.

About the Author:

Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction.

Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. Her first thriller, The Girl on the Train, has been published in over forty languages, has been a No.1 bestseller around the world and is now a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt. Into the Water is her second thriller.


Until next time,







This post is written as part of a blog train #letsblogwithpri hosted by Prisha. Thanks to Kanika for introducing me to this blog train. I would love to introduce Noor to the blog train. Noor writes about her life experiences about travel, parenting and lifestyle topics. Read her posts.




Hosted By :Prisha Lalwani Mummasaurus.com IG: @mummasaurus1FB: /mummasaurus1




20 June, 2019

The Setpoint Diet by Jonathan Bailor - Book Spot Light



Book Details:

Book Title: The Setpoint Diet by Jonathan Bailor

Category: Self-help/ Weight Management, 311 pages

Genre: Adult Non-Fiction

Publisher: Hachette Books

Release date: December 2018

Tour dates: June 17 to July 12, 2019

Content Rating: PG+M


Book Description:

Join the 27,000 people who have achieved dramatic and long-term weight loss with The Setpoint Diet, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Calorie Myth.

Your body fights to keep you within a range of about 15 pounds--also known as your "setpoint weight." New research reveals that you can lower your setpoint and end that battle for good by focusing on the quality of calories you eat, not the quantity. With The Setpoint Diet, you will reprogram your body with a 21-day plan to rev up your metabolism, eliminate inflammation, heal your hormones, repair your gut, and get your body working like that of a naturally thin person--permanently.

The Setpoint Diet is a lower-carb menu that focuses on specific anti-inflammatory whole foods, including tons of produce, nutritious proteins, and therapeutic fats. Its creator, Jonathan Bailor, founded SANESolution, a weight loss company that has reached millions of people. Proven to help you lose weight naturally and maintain it, The Setpoint Diet is your new blueprint for healthy living.


About the Author:


JONATHAN BAILOR pioneered the field of wellness engineering and is the founder and CEO of one of the world’s fastest-growing permanent weight loss and diabesity treatment companies, SANESolution. He authored the New York Times best-seller The Calorie Myth, has registered over 26 patents, has spoken at Fortune 100 companies and TED conferences for over a decade and served as a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, where he helped to create Nike Kinect Training and Xbox Fitness. His work has been endorsed and implemented by top doctors from Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, and UCLA. A summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of DePauw University, Bailor lives outside Seattle with his wife, Angela, and daughter Aavia.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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Ends July 19, 2019


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Until next time,


18 June, 2019

My Gratitude List for May 2019 #GratitudeCircle

Six months into 2019 and I feel so happy in this year so far. Actually, I could reach my goals already. 

I joined work in Jan 2019 after one and half years break and my dance school is growing slowly. I am excited about our dance school's annual recital in September!


That is the reason, I am grateful and thankful to God than ever. 


Here is my Gratitude List for the last month - May 2019:


1. Work life

There are many things to be thankful for in my work life. A good manager, supportive lead and colleagues, interesting work where I can learn new skills and improve my current skills etc., 

2. Dance School

The dance school is doing good. I am happy to see students showing interest in art and practicing regularly to improve themselves. I feel grateful to my students who encourage and challenge my art.

3. Travel

Nowadays, it has become an obsession to plan my trips, research places and enjoy outdoors. Thanks to my husband for his love of traveling and thanks to my wonderful kids who are adaptive.

You might have read my recent travelogues, else, here are some links:




Utah Vacation Plan with Kids

Day 1 - Arches National Park and Canyonlands National park

Day 2 - Monument Valley Park and Four Corners National monument

Day 2 - Mesa Verde National Park

Day 3 - Pagosa Springs and Crestone


4. Books


I couldn't read many books due to work and managing home. I could read only one book 'The Girl on the train' by Paula Hawkins. I loved the book and my review is coming soon. The characterization in such books amazes me.

5. Writing regularly


It's been a wonder that I am managing to write twice or at least once a week these days. I am joining one blog hop for sure every month and so, I am reading blogs of my blogger friends too.

I am also learning to add good images, adding a watermark and creating social media friendly graphics with Canva.

That was about my May. I wish you all a happy June. Yes, six months have gone so quickly, but there is a lot more to achieve in another six months :-)
Until next time,



I received this tag from my blogger friend Amrita and I am passing it on to Anagha Yatin, another amazing blogger friend.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Linking this to #GratitudeCircle blog hop hosted by Vidya Sury.


17 June, 2019

A day trip to Idaho Springs, where Gold Rush began

Idaho springs is a historic town located in Clear Creek county of Colorado. This city is founded in 1859 when the first Colorado Gold rush has begun. Mining has been responsible for the growth of Idaho springs and now, it carries rich heritage.

From Scenic byways to hot springs to waterfalls and Gold mine tours, this quaint mountain town has to a lot to offer. 

Lake Dillon is just 38 mins drive from Idaho springs and Dillon Marina offers rental boats. This lake is gorgeous nestled in a scenic place with mountains in the background. Advance reservation is preferred for boating but it will make an unforgettable experience to anyone.


After boating, we went to an easy hike of about 0.6 miles loop at Saphire point overlook. This hike has good overlook points for photo opportunities and this is a good place for wedding photography. A bonus to this hike is watching chipmunks. Kids would surely love to see them and chipmunks are absolutely friendly posing to the photos and jumping around people.


Mt. Evans scenic byway in Idaho springs is a must visit. This is the highest paved highway in North America. Mt Evans Summit is opened only from memorial day to Labour day, weather permitting. This road reaches an elevation of 14,130 ft above sea level in just 14 miles from the visitor station.


We drove through clouds and fog as we reached to the summit. The rock house on the summit is great too. The drive has breathtaking views.



This picnic stop near Chicago Forks before Mt Evan's Visitor center is easy to be missed.




Our next stop was to St. Mary's Glacier which is around 1.5 hrs from Mt.Evans. The hike is tough and it is a very rocky road of around 1.5 miles to watch the lake on the way to the glacier. It is not easy to hike with kids.

We have planned to drive through Guenella pass which is 30 mins from St.Mary's glacier but didn't have enough time to cover this.

On the highway, while returning from St.Mary's Glacier, spotted this waterfall. Isn't it amazing?
PC: Google image labeled for reuse

A few more places that you can cover in a trip to Idaho springs are the gold mine tour at Phoenix gold mine / Argo Mill tour, Hot springs, Oh my Gawd road and the casinos at Black Hawk/ central city.
Argo Mill
PC: Google image labeled for reuse

Do you like my travelogue?

Read my other Colorado Travelogues here:
https://www.fantasticfeathers.in/search/label/Colorado

Until next time,








This post is written as part of a blog train #letsblogwithpri hosted by Prisha. Thanks to Kapila for introducing me to this blog train. I would love to introduce Mythri to the blog train. Mytri is a freelance social media professional based in jaipur and a mom blogger. Read her posts.




Hosted By :Prisha LalwaniMummasaurus.comIG: @mummasaurus1FB: /mummasaurus1





13 June, 2019

11 June, 2019

Lacewood by Jessica James - Book Spot Light and GiveAway





 photo Lacewood eBook Cover Large - Copy_zpsh91k88i1.jpg



Women’s
Fiction/Contemporary Romance
Date
Published
: 6/18/2019

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Sometimes
love is just too powerful for one lifetime…

MOVING
TO A SMALL TOWN in Virginia is a big change for New York socialite Katie
McCain. But when she stumbles across an abandoned 200-year-old mansion, she’s
enthralled by the enduring beauty of the neglected estate—and captivated by the
haunting portrait of a woman in mourning.

Purchasing
the property on a whim, Katie attempts to fit in with the colorful characters
in the town of New Hope, while trying to unravel the mystery of the “widow of
Lacewood.” As she pieces together the previous owner’s heartrending story,
Katie uncovers secrets the house has held for centuries, and discovers the key
to coming to terms with her own sense of loss.

The
past and present converge when hometown hero Will Durham returns and begins his
own healing process by helping the “city girl” restore the place that holds so
many memories. As the mystic web of destiny is woven, a love story that might
have been lost forever is exposed, and a destiny that has been waiting in the
shadows for centuries is fulfilled.



Part
love story, part ghost story, Lacewood is a timeless novel about trusting in
fate, letting go of the past, and believing in things that can’t be seen.

A
powerful and poignant tale that vividly conveys the heartache of war, the
tragedy of loss, and the fulfillment of destiny…even when souls are separated
by centuries. Lacewood takes readers on a journey that connects the past with
the present—and the present with eternity.








Excerpt

Turning
in a circle, Katie studied the room again. Faded wallpaper curled and peeled
above the dusty wainscoting, but the walls themselves appeared sturdy. On the
far side of the entryway, and dominating the wall, stood a mammoth fireplace
with an ornately carved hearth. And above the mantle hung a captivating
painting of a woman in nineteenth-century dress.

“Who
is she?”

The
sheriff turned to the dusty, sun-bleached portrait in the heavy carved guilt
frame. “One of the previous owners, they say.” He shrugged. “The family history
kind of got lost with the house. Everyone around here calls her the Widow of
Lacewood.”

Katie
stood spellbound. The woman was dressed completely in black, but the
magnificence of the gown gave the impression of sophistication and class. Her
chin was slightly elevated as if to project strength, yet there was more than a
hint of sorrow and pain in her eyes.

“She
looks so sad.” Katie spoke without removing her gaze. “And so young. How could
she be a widow?”

The
sheriff had already started to walk away, but he turned back and glanced at the
painting. “Not sure, but they say she never remarried. She’s the one out in the
cemetery, too, I reckon.”

Katie’s
heart suddenly struggled to beat. The anguish in the woman’s eyes kept her
riveted. She could see the pain. Feel a heart ripped apart. Something was
missing that could never be replaced. Katie had felt such loss before. In a
way, that’s why she was here.

“You
coming?”

Katie
heard the sheriff calling from the next room, and turned to follow. With one
quick glance back, she noticed particles of dust now swirled and danced in a
shaft of light, almost like a living thing. Her breath caught in her throat as
the dust seemed to materialize into the form of a woman, her eyes dull with the
same tortured despair and disbelief as the one in the portrait.

Katie
jerked her head around for a closer look and blinked. The woman was gone.


About
the author:

 photo James Jessica Headshot_zpsbibvuqbu.jpg


Jessica
James believes in honor, duty, and true love—and that’s what she writes about
in her award-winning novels that span the ages from the Revolutionary War to
modern day.

She
is a three-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction, and
has won more than a dozen other literary awards, including a Readers' Favorite
International Book Award and a Gold Medal from the Military Writers Society of
America. Her novels have been used in schools and are available in hundreds of
libraries including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy.



Contact
Links

Website  
BookBub  



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Links

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Pre-Order Price of $3.99



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Until next time,

10 June, 2019

5 ways to Find out your hidden talent

As per the Dictionary, A 'Talent' is natural aptitude/ skill. Everyone has some talent but they find it difficult to identify them. Some of my friends used to tell that they are not good at anything/ any skill. I tell them, "It's wrong. You just don't know yet what you are good at".

Our genes, the environment that we grow, the people we are surrounded with, the opportunities that we pick up, the risks we take etc., are several factors that might decide our talent. We get a few skills through genes, we gain a few skills as we have a passion for them, and we gain a few skills as we work hard with determination.



Creative abilities are hard for us to identify until we try them by ourselves. Athletic abilities cannot be found until we are introduced to them at least once in our lifetime. There are some other skills like observation, adaptation, flexibility, courage which come out based on situations we face.

I suggest below 5 ways to identify hidden talents:

1. Determine what you enjoy:

I think this is the easiest way to find out our hidden talent. If we love something more than the other, that might be something we are good at. This need not be true for all. But, we choose our hobbies depending on what we enjoy in our life, it can be photography/ art/ dance/ sport. If we don't love that activity we cannot spend that extra hour from our hectic daily life, right?

I enjoy writing, reading books, painting, and dancing. I am ready to sacrifice a few hours of sleep/ TV time to work on them as it gives me satisfaction and happiness.

 So, start by listing the activities that you enjoy. There are chances that you might be good at these activities. Even if you are not good at it, your mind is ready to work hard to become better at it.

2. Explore Multiple activities:

Most of the people I know are not exposed to/ introduced to the activity they are good at. So, there is no chance for them to know about it. That is the reason, I suggest that we should explore all the hobbies/ activities even when we think that it is not for us. We cannot say, what might interest us, with which activity we might feel passionate about.

I know, many parents these days are introducing many activities to their kids, which is great. But, an overdose will make them hate the activities that they might be good at. If you want to try a new skill like crochet/ painting, learn it, try it, explore it, give it some time, before deciding/quitting it.


3. Leave the fear of rejection :

This is the most important thing. Let's say, you realized that you are good at writing. You start a blog, write a few good posts, get appreciations from friends and family, you proceed, improve your skills, start a business of content writing. If some publishers reject your work/ you don't get any monetary benefit, it becomes disappointing. But, please continue for the love of your hobby, for your happiness and for your satisfaction.

Rejections doesn't mean you are bad at that skill, it just means that you didn't meet the requirements of the person who rejected it.

You might choose some other profession for a living but never leave the hobby that you are good at. If we can get away from the fear of rejection, it is easy to find the skills and improve them.

4. Come out of comfort zone:

Sometimes, we cannot identify our skills if we don't come out of our comfort zone. I was thinking from my childhood that I am an introvert and not outgoing as I didn't feel comfortable talking to people in crowds. But, that's not true. As I grew up, I enjoyed being with people, felt happy to get attention.

When I had to give a speech for the first time on stage, I was afraid, but I could easily grasp the techniques on how to talk in public, use modulation, pauses, not to show the nervousness etc.,with practice.

Yes, these skills might not have come naturally for the first time. But, these were gained with learning and practice.

5. Identify the skills that you are passionate about:

Most probably,  our passion and emotional  connection drives our ability.

Identify any skill that you are passionate about and something that motivates you to become better at it.

 A skill that ignites your passion.

A skill on which you can spend hours and hours at a stretch losing the track of time.

Use your strengths to the benefit.

I hope, these points help you to find your hidden talents and work on them for your happiness and satisfaction.

Until next time,





This post is written as part of a blog train #letsblogwithpri hosted by Prisha. Thanks to Debidutta for introducing me to this blog train. I would love to introduce Sharvari to the blog train. Sharvari is a mom , a HR professional and a beauty and health blogger. Read her posts.


Hosted By :Prisha LalwaniMummasaurus.comIG: @mummasaurus1FB: /mummasaurus1

Shiva Stone: Hampi's Hidden Treasure by AJinkya Bhoite - [Book Review]






check out the schedule here



Shiva Stone: Hampi's Hidden Treasure


by


AJINKYA BHOITE









BLURB

Mithila is a senior archeologist on the Hampi site along with two other UNESCO scientists. They decide to open some secret vaults in the underground Shiva temple. Treasures and artifacts from the 18th century make the headlines but the Shiva Stone was kept a closely guarded secret.

When a RAW officer hires Mithila on a secret mission to safely transport an ISRO professor and the Shiva Stone to Bangalore, she knows something is up.

Why is the stone called the Shiva Stone? Why are archeologists, UNESCO, ISRO, and RAW interested in a discovery at Hampi? Why is Mithila working for RAW? Is she the only agent on the mission?

Shiva Stone will take you on a thrilling adventure through the historical site of Hampi. Buy it now!

Grab your copy @

Amazon.com | Amazon.in



My Review:

The Story is about a team trying to find out more details about the Shiva stone found in Hampi archeological site which is made of specific metal which is of global interest. Mithila, a senior archeologist is teamed with 2 ISRO professors for this mission but they find out that the stone is not what they expected it to be and there is a malicious strategy behind this mission.

The blurb definitely seemed interesting and so, I had more expectations on this book. The initial part knowing about Hampi, the Shiva stone, the architecture of Hampi temple, etc., is very good. But, gradually when the story veered away from Hampi episode, I lost my interest.

I usually don't like reading books which are part of a series. This book ends very abruptly. I can understand that the author is planning the next part but the ending might have been better to have a smooth transition to the next part and also give a feeling of satisfaction.

The characterization is good, especially the professor and Mithila. The book cover is great and apt.

The narration is good but in some places, the story seems to miss the flow. It is confusing as the story is said in the perspective of different characters changing in every chapter. If the story is narrated from a single person's perspective, it might have been better. The pace of the book is good, not very fast/ slow. There are still some links missing/ logic to be explained, but I think, these will be covered in the next series.

I loved the book cover but I think, the title is slightly misleading.

My Rating : 3/5

PS: I have received this book from the book club in exchange for a review and this is my honest opinion of the book.

About the author




I am an Electronics and Telecommunication Engineer with an inclination towards reading and writing. Besides, being Engineer, I enjoy running.

My first novel is Shiva Stone which is self-published on Kindle.

I was born in a small town called Wai, near Panchgani, Maharashtra. Moved to Satara for High School.

Under-graduation from Pune University and Masters from California State University, Long Beach.

Currently, working as a Cloud Support Engineer for Amazon Web Services.

You can stalk him @




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