28 February, 2021

Ekleipsis by Tamel Wino - [Book Review]

Book Details:

Title: Ekleipsis

Author: Tamel Wino

Genre: Short stories, Anthology, Suspense, Horror

Print Length: 178 pages

Source: A free review copy from the author



Blurb:

Winner of Literary Titan Gold Award.

The sun has finally set on humanity
What happens when we give in to the darkness?

Ékleipsis is a short story collection that explores the havoc wreaked when ordinary people abandon their humanity to pursue their darkest desires, and questions just how far people will go to follow their baser instincts.

Each story takes a version of a person we’ve known in our own lives and transforms them into something completely unnerving—yet all too familiar.

These dark, complex characters and twisted tales of the once ordinary will change your perception of humanity forever.

Purchase Link:

Amazon


My Review:

The first thing that seemed mysterious about this short story anthology is its name. This ancient Greek word Ekleipsis means an eclipse. A good name for the collection of horror stories that expose darkened souls of ordinary people.

I don't see an index at the beginning of the book, which might have been useful to go to a specific story and see the list of stories. Each story is divided by a picture of the eclipse into different stages going darker story by story. That really helped to set the mood for each story.

Stories touched a few mental disorders, alcoholism, and the dark side of human emotions. 

I liked a few stories. My favorite is closing costs. The characterization is very good. The climax is unexpected and spine-chilling. My Second Favorite is All-In about a person addicted to gambling. A good story with suspense and morals. 

I didn't enjoy a few stories well. Some stories are very good with narrative and suspense build up till the end, but the climax wasn't impressive for them. For a few, I thought the narrative is confusing a bit and I couldn't understand the characters/storyline that well. 

My Rating: 4/5


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

Until next time,




20 February, 2021

The Maharaja's Fake Fiancée by Alisha Kay - Cover Reveal

 

 


What happens when a free-spirited actress and an uptight Maharaja fake an engagement?



Depending on whom you ask, you either get a match made-in-heaven or a royal disaster.
When Diya Sharma's meddlesome mother tries to throw her into the arms of a mom-approved suitor, Diya runs the other way. Right into the arms of the most scandal-averse Maharaja on earth.
His Highness Veerendra Singh can recognise a pain-in-the-ass when he sees it. Especially when it falls into his arms.
Even if said pain-in-the-ass has legs that go on for ever and lush lips that just beg to be kissed, Veer doesn’t need another scandalous actress destroying his family’s happiness. So all he wants to do is run in the opposite direction.
But, when a marriage-minded princess sets her sights on him, Veer runs back into Diya’s arms to propose a fake engagement.
When the lines between real and fake start to blur, Diya and Veer need to decide what is important? Long held prejudices or the yearnings of their heart?




Alisha Kay is a Delhi based writer, who writes romances set in India.

She doesn’t hold with the concept of damsel-in-distress, which is why her heroines are spunky women with a sharp tongue and the ability to rescue themselves. Her heroes are hot men who are woke enough to find that independence irresistible. 

A Maharaja of Her Own is Alisha’s first book.

Until next time,


17 February, 2021

Crested Butte and Curecanti Recreational Area

 This post may contain affiliate links, clicking on those links may earn some commission to us without any additional cost to you.

 

This is part 3 of our Southwest Colorado trip. Check the below links to read the other parts:

Black Canyon of Gunnison

Telluride and Million Dollar Highway


Pin it for later!





On Day #4, on the way to Colorado Springs, we drove through the Curecanti Recreational area devouring the beauty of Gunnison river along the road, passing through the mountain town Crested Butte, covering a scenic dirt road drive to Kebler pass, and also driving through Cottonwood Pass.


Curecanti Recreational Area



On Day 1, when we traveled to the North rim of Black Canyon of Gunnison from the South rim Visitor center, we took the route through Montrose, Hotchkiss, and Crawford. But, there is another scenic route to reach the North rim, which passes through Curecanti Recreational area along the Gunnison River. This might take 30 mins more than the route that we took. But, if you have enough time, consider that route.


Curecanti Recreational Area



Anyways, while returning we saw a few places in Curecanti recreational area and I feel, this area is great for boating tours and a relaxing time on the river beach. 


Curecanti Recreational Area

Gunnison River
Curecanti Recreational Area



Curecanti Recreational area is a series of 3 reservoirs along the Gunnison River. The area is best for boating, hiking, and fishing. Morrow point boat tours is one of the highly recommended tours to cruise through the canyon. We missed it as we didn't have enough time.

We stopped for lunch at Gunnison and started our drive to the scenic Crested Butte. Crested Butte is a mountain lover's paradise. A small town surrounded by beautiful mountains is a wonderful sight.


Crested Butte, Colorado
Crested Butte

Crested Butte, Colorado
Mt. Crested Butte



Crested Butte is popular as winter heaven. It is also called "Wildflower Capital of Colorado" and an excellent choice for mountain biking in summer. 

We drove through the dirt road to reach Kebler pass, which is around 30 mins from downtown. It was not as great as many passes that we saw in Colorado but, a pretty drive though. 


Kebler Pass
Kebler Pass

Kebler Pass
Kebler Pass



The leaves were just changing colors as it's the last week of September and it was a bit difficult to not stay in Crested Butte. But, a few things for some other time :-(

On the way to Colorado Springs, we drove through Cottonwood pass and this drive is always worth it. 

Cottonwood Pass reaches an elevation of around 12,100 ft above sea level and it goes from Almont to Buena Vista. The views are Instagram-worthy! 

We did the Continental divide hike and this is a great place to enjoy the views of the mountains and the curving roads below. A jacket is a must in any season except Summer. There are many beautiful alpine lakes to hike in this area and it is definitely a hidden gem of Colorado. 


Cottonwood Pass
Cottonwood Pass



We reached Colorado Springs by driving through our favorite route through Salida, Canon City, and Penrose. 

This wonderful trip etched beautiful memories in our life! Of course, we were a bit scared to travel during Covid, but thanks to Hilton in Montrose, which kept our rooms exceptionally clean and followed all safety guidelines. 

If you are looking for accommodation near Montrose, do check this map to book.


My Next travelogue will be about Colorado National Monument near Fruita. 

Until next time,



04 February, 2021

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides - [Book Review]

Book Details:


Title: The Silent Patient
Author: Alex Michaelides 
Genre:  psychological thriller, suspense, Murder thriller
Print Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Celadon Books




Blurb:


The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive.

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him....

Purchase Link: Amazon

My Review :


This is a perfect psychological thriller. It doesn't seem to be the debut novel of the author as it seemed like the best work. The details about psychiatry, the different mentalities, the reasons for people's behaviors and connection to the past are well covered.

The story runs around psychologist Theo who tries to treat Alicia, who joins the hospital after killing her husband. She doesn't speak at all and no other doctor could make her talk. Other than displaying some violent behavior and suicidal tendency, she doesn't give any clue about her mental disorder making the treatment impossible for all other doctors.

But, Theo takes a special interest in her case, he even goes many steps further by talking to people close to her, investigating her past, her behavior, etc. The plot is engrossing, and I completed the book in one go even though it's a lengthy book.

The narrative, characters, the details, and of course the twists and a wonderful climax made this a joyful read.

My Rating: 5/5


About the Author:


Alex Michaelides was born in Cyprus to a Greek-Cypriot father and English mother. He has a MA in English Literature from Cambridge University and a MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. The Silent Patient is his first novel.

Until next time,


03 February, 2021

What's that Noise? by Tiffany Caldwell and W R Mackenzie - [Book Review]

 

Join us for this tour from Feb 1 to Mar 5, 2021!

Book Details:

Book TitleThe Adventures of Forkman: What's That Noise? by Tiffany Caldwell and W.R. MacKenzie
CategoryChildren's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  38 pages
GenreChildren's Picture Book
PublisherMascot Books
Release date:   Jan 2021
Content Rating:  G. This children's book is for everyone.

Book Description:

When poor manners are present, Forkman will be there to save the day! Join Kathryn and William as they learn how to load the dishwasher properly and avoid inappropriate distractions at the table with the help of all their utensil friends. This second book in the Adventures of Forkman series is a great introduction to mealtime etiquette for readers of all ages.

Buy the Book
Amazon.com
B&N
Mascot Books


My Review:


This is not like other Children's Picturebooks. The story teaches some basic manners like table manners and how to help family with chores etc., through the character Forkman.

This book has 2 chapters inside. The first chapter walks through the steps to load the dishwasher and help parents. The second chapter teaches some important table manners. 

My 6yr old loved the illustrations and tone. He learned how to load the dishwasher. He loved the funny names used in the book like Forkman, Clara cup, Spoondude, and knifeguy. 

The illustrations are so cute. Especially the expressions of Forkman came out well and interesting. 

I would highly recommend this book to children from 3 to 7 years old. The book cover is perfect and the title 'What's That Noise?' is funny and apt.

My Rating: 5/5

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



Meet the Authors:

Tiffany Caldwell: I have worked with children for over thirteen years and every year basic manners become less evident. When I was growing up, my sisters and I took etiquette classes during the summer while we visited our grandparents. Etiquette was always a big part of our upbringing. When we would have our family dinners, my dad, W.R. MacKenzie, would make our utensils come to life as we were eating. Forkman became a part of our dinner routine! I am a mother of three great kids and military wife to my hero. A few years ago, I told my dad we needed to start writing our story. We are so excited to share Forkman with the world!

W.R. MacKenzie: I spent thirty-nine years in the bakery business. After I retired and my four children were grown, I felt it was time to share the importance of the family meal with the world. The Adventures of Forkman teaches children how to properly conduct themselves at the table. Our books are filled with characters all children can relate with and I believe Forkman and his crew will help children of all ages learn manners and table etiquette.


connect with the authors: website ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads
 
Tour Schedule:

Feb 1 - Because I said so and other adventures in Parenting - review/guest post/ giveaway
Feb 3 - Cover Lover Book Review - book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 4 - Fantastic Feathers - book review
Feb 4 - She Just Loves Books - book review / giveaway
Feb 5 - Books for Books - book spotlight
Feb 8 - The Momma Spot - book review / giveaway
Feb 9 - The Adventures Of A Travelers Wife - book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 9 - Westveil Publishing - book review / giveaway
Feb 10 - Laura's Interests - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 11 - Jazzy Book Reviews - book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 12 - Lisa's Reading - book review / giveaway
Feb 15 - Sefina Hawke's Books - book review
Feb 15 - Sandra's Book Club - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 16 - Splashes of Joy - book review / guest post
Feb 16 - A Mama's Corner of the World - book review / giveaway
Feb 16 - Gina Rae Mitchell - book review / giveaway
Feb 17 - Library of Clean Reads - book review / giveaway
Feb 18 - Deborah-Zenha Adams - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 19 - Icefairy's Treasure Chest - book review / giveaway
Feb 23 - Bound 4 Escape - book review / giveaway
Feb 24 - Locks, Hooks and Books - book review / giveaway
Feb 25 - Rockin' Book Reviews - book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 25 - Nighttime Reading Center - book review / giveaway
March 1 - Reading is My Passion - book review
March 2 - Bigreadersite  - book review / giveaway
March 2 - StoreyBook Reviews - book review / giveaway
March 4 - I'm Into Books - book review / giveaway
March 4 - Pause for Tales - book review / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 



Until next time,


 

24 January, 2021

Housing Market in the USA and some tools to help buyer

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit a lot of sectors and jobs, but how is the housing market in the US after the pandemic?

The answer is a bit surprising. Like every other sector, everybody expected a plunge. But, housing rates are skyrocketing in almost all states in the USA.






The current state of the real estate market in Colorado Springs is this as per greatcoloradohomes.com.


Total active listings went down 59% from last year and the house average price rose 20% from last year. Colorado springs is the strongest seller's market than ever before. So, until the inventory raises again, even though it's not a good time to buy a home now, the average house prices continue to rise making buyers restless. Interest rates are at record low making the buyers' decision still confusing.







What about other regions in the USA?


As per this article from Forbes,

On the whole, the market will remain seller-friendly, but buyers will still have relatively low mortgage rates and an eventually improving selection of homes for sale in 2021.

By the end of 2021, the market might pick up with new constructions and sellers being comfortable. But, the economists predict sales to grow 7% and prices to increase another 5.7% on top of the 2020's already high levels.

As per Elena from better.com, we will continue to see a growth in millennial home buying regardless of interest rate changes.

As per other experts, due to fewer inventory / supply-demand gaps, house prices might go high in the first half of 2021 and could ease a bit in the second half of the year.

With these many confusions and predictions, it only makes sense to use technology to decide on buying a new home.

There are numerous tools on Mortgagecalculators.info to help in this decision. Since we are planning to buy a new home, I found these calculators very useful to know the home price we can afford based on our annual income, debts, bills, down payment, property taxes in our area, HOA, and many other parameters which influence our decision highly.

I found the Advanced Mortgage calculator beneficial with features like loan payment breakdown graphs, biweekly savings, other closing costs, and monthly amortization tables.






As per this article from Bloomberg, experts feel, buyers will prefer renting than buying a new house due to less inventory and rising prices. When most of the people in the USA get vaccines by May, and if all the sectors pick up again after the downfall of Covid, the economy might recover making the second half of 2021 good again for buyers.

We can always be hopeful of situations, right? But, right now, being safe from Covid and getting vaccinated are the priorities. Won't you agree?

Until next time,





PS: All pictures from www.pixabay.com

Pin it for later!


















10 January, 2021

Million Dollar Highway and Telluride - A Travelogue

 This post may contain affiliate links, clicking on those links may earn some commission to us without any additional cost to you.


Here is the Day #3 itinerary of our Colorado SouthWest trip. We visited Black Canyon of Gunnison on Day#1 and #2. 





Due to Covid, we stayed in the same hotel in Montrose all 3 days to cover the places around. Hampton Inn Hotel in Montrose made sure that they followed all safety procedures for Covid. Rooms are exceptionally clean, contactless check-in available and they provided to-go complimentary breakfast as well. 

We started to Telluride from Montrose in the morning after breakfast. On the way, we made a quick stop at Dennis Weaver Memorial Park in Ridgeway. Just to see this Giant Eagle up close. This park also has river access, so you can get your feet wet and relax.


Dennis Weaver Memorial park, Ridgeway


We reached Telluride by afternoon. The drive was scenic. We took the free telluride Gondola and had lunch in the downtown area. 

Biking paths from Telluride Gondola


Bridal Veil Falls (the tallest falls in Colorado) is not far from downtown. We could see the falls and the powerhouse from the parking area but didn't have enough time to hike to the falls. This seemed to be a busy area with parking lots full. Someday, we would love to drive on the dirt road to reach Powerhouse on Jeep / 4 wheel drive. 


Bridal Veil Falls, Telluride


I am not sure what these 2 blue lakes are. Seems like they got color from some mineral deposits. But, they looked cool!


Telluride

Our next destination was Ouray. We had to skip Box Canyon falls on the way, as we thought we need at least 2 hrs time to explore the falls.

The US route 550 between Ouray to Silverton is known as Million Dollar Highway. It indeed gives million-dollar views!


Ouray

The highway got its name as someone in a planning meeting mentioned that it will cost million dollars to construct the road between Ouray and Silverton.

The scenic drive starts after the Ouray lookout point. The first stop is Bear Creek falls which can be viewed by the parking lot.

Bear Creek Falls


Later, the road goes through several switchbacks, narrow roads without guard rails with 360-degree views of majestic mountains and valleys.

Million Dollar Highway




The Switchbacks

The next stop is Hayden lake on the highway. A beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. Then, we drove through the red mountain pass.

Hayden lake


A few more views


We could capture a few more beautiful scenery before reaching Silverton. Trees were just turning yellow, it was around Sep 20th.



No Gaurd rails



The beautiful Yellows

We couldn't drive to Durango as we had to reach Montrose back by night and we don't want to risk driving the Million dollar highway without daylight.

But, If you plan a trip, stay in Telluride / Ouray so that you can explore the beautiful mountain town, Durango, as well.

By the way, While returning, we had a great Mexican meal at a local restaurant (GNAR Tacos) near Ridgeway. I highly recommend this restaurant if you love Mexican food.

Side Trip Ideas :

Even though we didn't have enough time to cover all places, I made a list of places and Side trip ideas. Hope, these are useful!

  • Telluride - Try Lost dollar road (4 wheel drive required ) and snap a picture of the mountain you see on Coors Beer bottle :-D This is also best to visit during the fall season to enjoy the fall colors.
  • Ouray - Visit Box canyon falls on the way, expect to spend 1-2 hrs.
  • Durango - If you can spend a day in Durango, catch the Durango to Silverton Narrow gauge train / hike the Animas river trail. A dip in Durango hot springs would be relaxing too. 
  • Silverton - Try the gold mine tour
On Day #4, while returning to Colorado Springs, we drove through Crested Butte and covered 2 more scenic drives. Those details will be in my next travelogue. Stay tuned.

Here is a map to book accommodation in Montrose:


Until then,

Stay safe.






Pin it for later!



Linking this to #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne at everydaygyaan







Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...