27 February, 2020

Top 5 places to see in New Mexico with kids

We underestimated the beauty and diversity of New Mexico. We covered Colorado,  South Dakota and A few parts of Utah and Arizona,  but we didn't plan #Newmexico trip earlier.

Our last visit to Santa fe made us rethink about our opinion on New Mexico. You can read about our Santa fe travelogue with kids. We loved the food, places, culture, art and especially the weather.



I collected information for our next trip there itself. We have many good places in New Mexico but the only problem is the distance between the places. Some of them require a lot of driving.

Here are the top 5 places to visit in New Mexico with kids.


1. Santa fe


I agree that iam a fan of Santa fe. This little art town has a lot of museums,  sculpture gardens, local art exhibitions and great Mexican food.

This town also offers some fun outdoor recreation like hiking in Bandelier national monument,  Kasha-Katuwe national monument,  the visit to illusion house Meow wolf, the Loretto chapel with the famous spiral stairs, The Governor's palace etc.,


2. Albuquerque 

This is the largest metropolis in New Mexico.  It's a busy historical town with many attractions to visit.

Sandia peak tramway is a must visit with kids to view the beauty of the city from the top. ABQ bio park and Aquarium are fun for the whole family. 

Albuquerque Balloon fiesta  in October is famous time to visit. Petroglyph national monument has a lot of
ancient images drawn on volcanic rocks and the visitor center has many interactive educational exhibits. 


3. Carlsbad


Carlsbad caverns national park is a must visit with kids. The park has around 119 caves inside. 

The elevator or the natural entrance trail takes the visitors to around 700 ft down and the Big room inside the caves is so large that it can fit 14 football fields.

The amazing formations like stalactites , stalagmites , draperies,  columns, popcorn etc., make this place look mesmerizing. The way the park is protecting these delicate features is praiseworthy.




4. Alamogordo 


White sands national monument near Alamogordo is fantastic place to visit with kids. The colour of the sand is due to the high amount gypsum in it. The sand is very soft and it shines so bright in Sun light that our eyes will strain.

Sledding on sand is a lot of fun for whole family. There are some kid friendly trails too. The visitor center has good information on why sand is white and how it is formed.


5. Santa Rosa


Blue hole which is located in Santa Rosa is a 80 feet deep natural pool which is at constant temperature of 62 farenheit. The water is very clear. 

This place is also known as scuba diving capitol of Southwest. Either your kids can check out the classic route 66 cars or try boating or scuba diving in Pecos river or drive through the historic route 66.

While those come as top 5 places to visit in my opinion,  there are many more places worth a visit like Roswell UFO museum, the giant shiprock near four corners, Taos, Bisti Badlands , Valles Caldera super volcano area and the scenic Ghost ranch.

So  how do you like these suggestions? Have you visited new Mexico earlier? What places did you like? Do let me know in comments.

Until next time, 





Tent Rocks #wordlesswednesday

Do you love cones?

Until next time, 

Linking this post to #wordlesswednesday hosted by Natasha and Esha.


22 February, 2020

Chemical Attraction by Christina Thompson - Audio Book Spot light

Audiobook Blog Tour: Chemical Attraction by Christina Thompson


Author: Christina Thompson

Narrator: Gary Bennett

Length: 10 hours 3 minutes

Publisher: 48fourteen

Released: Dec. 26, 2019

Genre: Romantic Thriller






Working in nanotechnology, Madeline Pierce, a dedicated scientist, has pain in her heart from an abusive relationship. She hides in her research. Charismatic yet brooding, Joe Roberts searches for an instant chemistry with his soulmate, the one person who will love him for his faults not in spite of them.

Dr. Pierce teams up with Agent Roberts to uncover a criminal network within her medical research facility in West Michigan. Feeling an undeniable attraction, they struggle to stay professional while they determine the degree of company involvement.

In the nearby farming town, animals violently attack the residents. Someone is experimenting outside the laboratory. Are human test subjects next? With the help of Joe's sister Eva, a physician assistant at the local hospital, and her husband Chief Matt Connor, Joe and Madeline hunt for this new bio-weapon before the death toll rises in this gripping third book of The Chemical Attraction Series.











Christina Thompson has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Nazareth College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is a certified massage therapist from the Health Enrichment Center’s School of Therapeutic Massage in Lapeer, Michigan. She also has a Diploma in Traditional Chinese Acupuncture from the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine in Racine, Wisconsin.

Her background in biology gave her a love of science and an insight into the physical realm of the body. Her holistic understanding of Traditional Chinese medicine taught her that the mind and spirit affect the body in powerful ways.

As a former holistic practitioner with over 20 years of knowledge, experience, and service, Christina now enjoys writing about the physical science, the emotional workings of our mind and heart, and the spiritual energy that taps into our passions.

She is the author of the romantic thrillers in The Chemical Attraction Series, which include Their Rigid Rules, The Kindred Code, Chemical Attraction, Chemical Reaction, and an anthology of short stories, Searching for Her. She has also written the romantic adventures, The Trucker’s Cat and The Garden Collection.
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Narrator Bio


Narrator Gary Bennett is a SAG-AFTRA audiobook narrator. He was born and raised in California and then in Bozeman, Montana, and is the oldest of 4 children. He now calls the greater Seattle area his home, and he's a huge fan of the Seattle Seahawks

He's always been passionate about not just telling a story, but telling it well! From reading bedtime stories with his children to performing in front of the microphone, bringing a story truly to life is one of his greatest joys.

Gary has pursued his career in audiobook narration with zeal, investing in not only personal coaching from some of the best in the field, but in also some of the best equipment for his professional home-based studio. There are few things he enjoys more than stepping into his StudioBricks home studio and recording his favorite books!

Gary is also a licensed electrical engineer and a private pilot, loves to listen to and play music and is an avid outdoor enthusiast.
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Giveaway
Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card
Chemical Attraction Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card




Feb. 18th:

Willow Writes and Reads

Audiobook News Blog

Feb. 19th:

Reading A Page Turner

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Feb. 20th:

I'm All About Books

The World As I See It

Feb. 21st:

Nesie's Place

Jazzy Book Reviews

Feb. 22nd:

Momma Says To Read or Not to Read

Fantastic Feathers

Feb. 23rd:

Viviana MacKade

AC Squared Book Blog

B for Bookreview

Feb. 24th:

Teatime and Books

Avonna Loves Genres


Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.
Sign up as a tour host here.

Until next time, 


14 February, 2020

A Snowy day #ThursdayTreeLove


For today's #ThursdayTreeLove- this tree sprinkled with snow.

Today morning #Coloradosprings looked very beautiful with snow showers and foggy roads with trees coated with snow.


Until next time,







Linking this post to #ThursdayTreeLove blog hop hosted by Parul.

13 February, 2020

07 February, 2020

When An Angel Whispers by Tess Thompson - An Excerpt



A Chance O'Brien Novel, Book 1
Romantic Suspense

Macy Adams, a beautiful law student, is abducted and assaulted by a vicious serial killer known as the Bayou Butcher. She escapes with the help of a guardian angel and Houston Police Detective Chance O’Brien.

After fleeing her captor, she begins to build a new life, but is plunged back into his murderous grasp by circumstances beyond her control.

More women are murdered, and only Macy can help the FBI catch the Butcher before he kills again. What they don’t know is that this time he is out for revenge and is pulling Macy into his carefully planned trap.


Excerpt


Chapter 1

“Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.”  Desiderius Erasmus

Ba Boom! Ba Boom! Ba Boom! The noise was deafening. A drum or a clock. Yes, a tick but no tock. Not a clock. Not a drum. Louder. Hammering. Beating. Ba Boom! Ba Boom! Ba Boom!

Macy moved her head from side to side and tried to open her eyes. Where was she? What was that sound? She was in a terrible dream. The kind that you have when you want to scream and scream, but you can’t. You try to run, and your feet won’t move. It’s as if they are glued to the floor. Why couldn’t she open her eyes? Why couldn’t she see?

Macy reached to cover her ears. Her chest ached from the vibrations. Her hands refused to move. Her legs were paralyzed. She realized her eyes were already open and she gasped for air.

She could hear the pounding even louder coming from deep inside. Inside of her. Macy realized the pounding was her own heart beating inside her chest. “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!”

Darkness! “Oh, my God!” She exhaled slowly. Was she blind? Or was she just trapped? Would she stay in this darkness forever? Once, when she was a teenager during a truth or dare game, somebody asked her to name her worst fear. She hadn’t told the truth then. To do so would have made it real. Make it something that could really happen. But, it did happen. This was her nightmare. The one she’d had since childhood. To be trapped, in darkness with no one. Alone. Left to go insane for all of eternity.

Macy sucked air into her lungs. It hurt to breathe. She could only manage small puffs. Tears poured down her face, and she sobbed in desperation.

Again, she pulled at her arms, but they were held down. She couldn’t move. Confused and bewildered, she cried harder. Her body shook with spasms. What had happened to her? Was she dead? She began to recite her childhood prayer.

“Macy,” a soft voice spoke to her from the darkness. A woman’s voice. “Macy, hush.” The voice caressed her. “You aren’t alone. I am here with you.”

The woman’s voice was low and raspy, and Macy strained to hear her. She spoke with an accent Macy didn’t recognize. Macy had often heard Cuban or Mexican accents since she moved from Florida to Houston, Texas, but this was different. She felt someone hold her hand and rub her arm. The woman’s touch was like silk. It soothed her, and Macy found that her tremors lessened.

“I’m dead, aren’t I? Am I in hell? No, can’t be. I don’t believe in hell. Where am I? What happened to me? What have I done to deserve this?” Macy began to sob again and found it difficult to swallow. Her throat was raw from her screams.

“No, my little one, not dead,” the voice whispered. “You are very much alive, and I will help you stay that way. But, you must listen, Malyshka, and do what I tell you. He will be back soon.”

Macy pulled her arms forward again and discovered why she couldn’t move them. Her wrists were bound above her head, and it felt like her feet were bound as well. Because of the soothing voice and calming presence of the woman, her horror eased.

“Please, oh please, untie me,” she pleaded. “I can’t move. I can’t breathe. I can’t see. Am I blind?”

“No, not blind, but blindfolded. You are in a dark and evil place. I would gladly free you if I had the power, but I do not. I cannot. I can only be with you and guide you.”

The voice seemed to be moving away, getting softer, and becoming more difficult to hear.

“Oh, don’t go. Don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me,” Macy begged.

A whisper in her ear. A soft flutter on her skin. “I will not leave you. You are a strong woman. You will survive. I know this. I have seen it. Hush now. He is back, and you must pretend to be asleep.”

“But, who are you? Where am I?” Macy was building toward hysteria again.

“Shhh. Evil is here. Close your eyes now. Be brave,” the voice whispered as it moved away.

Macy swallowed and listened for whoever he was. She heard what sounded like a door opening and was about to scream for help when she heard a man say in a sing-song voice, “Macy, oh Macy. I’m here. I’ll bet you can’t wait to see me!”

Macy swallowed again, closed her eyes, and followed the woman’s warning. She pretended to be asleep.

 ~ ~ ~

 Martin Sabien turned and unlocked the padlock on the outside of the large steel door and swung it open into the dark garage. He flipped up the switch just inside the door, and the small, yellow light from the ceiling blinked on revealing walls that were soundproofed with two layers of drywall and fiberglass insulation. In the far corner of the garage was a white Chevy van that Martin inherited when his father died from a stroke two years earlier. He also inherited the small one-story home set on two acres on the outskirts of Splendora, a small town about thirty-five miles north of Houston. Martin had been bringing his women to the garage for the better part of a year.

He blamed most of his bad luck on women. They always got the plum positions and all the breaks. His mother took off when he was seven, and his daddy always said it was because Martin was a little pussy pecker. Just a mamby pamby like her. He didn’t know what that was, but he knew he didn’t want to be like that, so he did everything he could to make his daddy happy.

Martin stood only five-foot-seven inches with his boots on, but he worked out regularly and had plenty of muscles to impress the ladies. His scruffy whiskers and black-framed glasses made his face appear what most people would call unremarkable. Women walked right by him as if he were invisible.

Martin’s father, who worked as a guard at one of the local malls, came home every day wearing his rent-a-cop uniform and swaggered into the house. Right then, Martin decided he would one-up the old man and be a real cop. He was a fair student in high school and made good enough grades to get accepted into college. His father would never say it, but he was proud of his only son.

As soon as Martin turned twenty-one, he applied to all of the local law enforcement agencies in Houston and the surrounding counties. He was not accepted and decided it was because they were hiring women and queers, and not good, solid, educated men like himself. With no prospects for a job after he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, he decided to work on his master’s degree and was hired as a teaching assistant. Suddenly, the world looked different. Women that never looked his way before would smile at him because they knew he graded their work. But Martin was not a forgiving man, and he wasn’t interested in what the ladies wanted to give him. Now, he was only interested in taking.

Martin walked to the back of the garage where a large, old, rectangular wooden box sat upon a sturdy worktable, and called out again to Macy.

Suddenly Macy’s world was flooded with light. She wanted to open her eyes wide to prove that she could still see, but she remembered the words, “Pretend to be asleep.” She tried to breathe evenly and not flinch when she felt a hand engulf her neck and then travel down her breasts and come to rest between her legs. It was only then she realized she was completely naked. His other hand grabbed her breast and pinched the nipple until Macy thought she would cry out.

“You’re good. Let me tell you.” He ripped off her blindfold. “All my other girls started begging and crying as soon as I opened the lid. You stay in there long enough; you’ll do just about anything I want. Huh, Macy?”

When she didn’t respond, he brought the flat of his hand down quickly and slapped her hard on her left cheek, forcing her head to nod and her eyes to pop open. Tears of pain swam in her blue eyes.

“There now. I didn’t think you were still out. I didn’t give you enough to last long. Won’t do any good to pretend. I know all your tricks.”

Macy licked her parched lips and said, “Who are you? What do you want with …”

Martin brought his hand down harder. This time the force of the blow across her face caused Macy to bite her tongue. Blood trickled from between her lips. She could taste it, salty and metallic.

“You don’t talk. Not unless I tell you to talk. Do you hear me? I am the one in charge here, not you, Macy.” He said her name drawing out the last syllable as he reached down and smeared the blood over her chest.

Macy’s tears were flowing freely now, and she could no longer contain herself. She began to sob uncontrollably.

“Not so strong now, are you?” He reached into the box and freed her hands and feet that were tied to the pine box. For a small man, he was exceptionally strong. He easily lifted Macy’s five-foot-eight-inch frame from her prison and roughly deposited her feet first on the concrete floor. She teetered unevenly and almost fell until he pulled her up and steadied her with his hand around her neck again. Her hands and feet were still bound together, and the ropes cutting into her skin were blood-soaked from her unsuccessful attempts to free herself. Macy tried to look around to see where she was, but he pulled his hand back to slap her again, and she flinched.

“Got ya, huh? Never know when it’s coming. You know, I usually wear a mask and don’t let the girls see me. But you, you’re special. I picked you out a long time ago. Gonna have a really good time for a long time with you, sweetheart.”

Macy looked at the man standing in front of her and tried to recall who he was. Something was familiar about him, but she couldn’t place him. He wasn’t ugly. He was just nondescript. If someone asked her to identify him, she would say he had dark hair and dark, soulless eyes. He was young. Maybe her age, and she had just turned twenty-four in January. She doubted she would see twenty-five.

He dragged her across the floor toward what looked like a daybed with a brass frame across the back and sides. She choked back a laugh. A cherry red quilt with matching pillows covered the bed. He was quite the homemaker.

“Something funny?” he asked as he dragged her across the room and threw her face down on the cover.

He pulled her arms up above her head and tied them to the frame, loosened her feet, and tied them separately to each side of the foot of the bed. She could smell sweat and his unwashed body. Panting and sweating now, he discarded his clothes haphazardly on the floor and climbed on top of her.

“No, no. Please. Please don’t do this to me.” Her whimpering, begging sounds quickly turned into piercing screams.

 ~ ~ ~

 She lay crumpled on the bed for what seemed like hours, and when he finally loosened her arms and legs from the bed frame, she sat up and vomited all over the floor, barely missing his naked legs. He yanked her hair so hard she thought he would pull it out and slapped her twice more in the face. Blood poured out of her broken nose.

When he returned her to the box, it was a relief. Although she was still terrified of being left alone in the dark, she was exhausted and hurt. Her face burned where he hit her, and she could feel her swollen lips when she licked them with her tongue. She was thirsty and would have been hungry if she wasn’t so sick at her stomach.

Martin leaned down inches from her face and spoke, “Night night. Well, not the whole night. I have some things to do, but I’ll be back.” Although Macy’s mouth was dry, she managed to produce enough saliva to spit in his eyes.

“Bitch,” he yelled and punched her hard in her stomach. The air left her lungs, and she struggled to breathe. He punched her again and then slammed the lid down and hammered it into place.

She slowly sucked air into her lungs between clenched teeth and listened. Finally, she heard the door open and then close.

She was alone.  



About the Authors

Charlene Tess and Judi Thompson are sisters who live over 1400 miles apart. They combined their two last names into the pen name Tess Thompson and have been writing novels together since 2002.



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Until next time,


02 February, 2020

My Gratitude List for Jan 2020 #GratitudeCircle

Jan has just gone in a jiffy. While I didn't get time to write even one personal post after the new year, I feel happy that Jan was productive. I could read 2 good books and relax a bit. 



Here are a few things that I am grateful for in Jan:


Family Health:


This is the top point that I am thankful for in Jan. Even though we all started with some health problems initially, we bounced back. This made us join a yoga class and also look into our diet to modify it. I am thankful to God that I could find a good yoga teacher.

We don't realize the importance of something until we lose it. But, I hope, this doesn't happen for our health. We should never take it for granted and take good care of one's health.


Challenging work:


The workplace allowed me to learn new technologies and it brought the tough situations while balancing work and personal life.

With extra work once a week, Iam trying to juggle between yoga, work, dance, cooking and taking care of kids in the evenings. I am learning to balance things in a better way.




Books:


Actually, I didn't get much time to read books. But, I managed to read 2 good books when I was sick and taking rest. 

Gild the Weeping Lily is an Egyptian Historical Fiction. My Rating : 4.5/5.

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal is a humorous fiction about marriage in Pakistan. It's a retelling of Jane Austen's novel 'Pride and Prejudice' set in Pakistan. My Rating: 5/5.


Dance Classes:


I couldn't focus much on my dance classes this month due to office work. But, I have some upcoming projects that I started my preparation for.

The number of students increased this month. It's good to see enthusiastic students practicing well at home before coming to the class.

I have started choreography for 2 songs and I am also getting ready for our Annual recital tentatively planned for Sep 2020. I am thankful to my teacher Ms. Parvathi garu and to the parents of my students. 

So, that was about the first month of this year. How was your Jan? Are you grateful for something in Jan?
Do let me know in the comments.

Until next time,





Linking this post to #GratitudeCircle hosted by Vidya Sury


The Alcoholic Doctor by Dr Anish Kurar - Book Spot light






Summary:

Retired orthopaedic consultant Dr. Anish Kumar Kurar has worked in three countries accruing a wealth of experience managing critical conditions as well as taking fundamental steps to succeed amidst a climate of harsh reality.
From scarring childhood memories during an impoverished upbringing, he has managed to climb to the top of his profession. Childhood abuse, a shift to alcohol as an insurance measure during adulthood, and the intense clinical demands of medical practice has resulted in a tough exterior; the journey from his primitive youth to an experienced consultant has been no holds barred. He has been publicly acclaimed in the media and presented with international awards from the Saudi Arabian government.
Dr. Kurar proves that a little bit of grit can go a long way. This is his story.

Information about the Book

Title: The Alcoholic Doctor
Author: Dr Anish Kurar
Release Date: 28th January 2020
Genre: Non-Fiction
Page Count: 76
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Author Information
Dr Anish Kurar is a retired consultant orthopaedic surgeon. Now retired, he lives in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, with his family.


Tour Schedule


Monday 27th January

Tuesday 28th January

Wednesday 29th January

Thursday 30th January

Friday 31st January

Saturday 1st February







Until next time,

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