Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sammy Steals The Show - Book Review


Sammy Steals the Show by Emlyn Chand


 My Review

This is a story about a bird who flies off to achieve is dream only to realize that success means little if not shared with our loved ones. Lisa and Sammy are inseparable and make for a good story.

This is story book about a cockatiel and his human Lisa. It shares the message of love and being faithful to our loved ones. Sammy is a bird with a golden voice and when he learns about a singing competition he flies off with his friends to participate.

What happens after he flies off is the crux of the story. He regrets his impulsive action and realizes that Lisa would be so sad when she comes home to an empty house. I found the story a simple and good way of telling our children about thinking before taking action. It also teaches the importance of not getting carried away with ourselves.

I also liked the illustrations in the book, very pretty and expressive. The birds look beautiful as they fly through the Sydney sky. The author has shared a valuable message with easy words and cool pictures that our children can understand easily.



 (I got a copy of the book from Mother Daughter Book Reviews in exchange of my unbiased review)

About the Book

Title: Sammy Steals the Show (a Bird Brain Book, #10) | Author: Emlyn Chand | Illustrator: Noelle Giffin |Publication Date: May 28, 2014 | Publisher: Evolved Publishing | Pages: 56 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8


Book Description: Sammy is a talented young cockatiel who loves to sing out of his open apartment window for all of Australia to hear. One day, he watches a reality singing competition with his human friend, Lisa, and knows that if he could just audition, he would surely win.

What follows is a masterful escape, an eventful journey to the Sydney Opera House, and an audition the crew of “Sing Your Heart Out” will never forget. Will Sammy take home the title of Australia’s next rising star, or will he find something more important along the way?

There’s only one way to find out: join Sammy in his humorous adventure of fame, friendship, and fun.




About the Author:Emlyn Chand



From an early age, Emlyn Chand has counted books among her best friends. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her affinity for the written word extends to absolutely every area of her life: she has published fiction across multiple genres, oversees and contributes as both an editor and an author to theNovel Publicity Guides for Writing & Marketing Fiction series, and loves the written word so much, she even married author Falcon Storm! Don’t forget that she is the founder and president of Novel Publicity too.


The book that changed Emlyn’s life is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened her eyes to the world that could exist if only she was willing to create it—a lesson she has never forgotten. Maybe that’s why she loves writing her Bird Brain Book series for children so much!

Emlyn’s first novel, Farsighted, won the prestigious Writer’s Digest Self-Published Novel of the Year award in 2012 for the YA category. She now writes most of her fiction under her real name, Melissa Storm.

Mr Imperfect Series Book Review



House of Love
Nikki Desai scares the day lights out of Karan Malohtra and pepper sprays him when they meet for the first time and in spite of that when they meet they are instantly attracted to each other. The go-getter Nikki is sophisticated, successful and Karan still has a lot to achieve in life. Objections and obstacles when there should have been none make this an interesting read. How love eventually manages to sort everything is the crux of these stories.

Arranged Marriage
Ishan Suri and Sonali Thakur are not interested in marriage yet fate lands them together and when they meet, it is like destiny brought them together. Like a typical arranged marriage in India and the sea change afterwards. More so since he is an NRI and Sonali leaves everything and moves. She is unsure and thinks she made a wrong choice, little did she know he is the best guy for her.

Love Tango
Tahir Ali and Maya are the most difficult to get together. Maya is so afraid of falling for the wrong guy that she tries to break up with the right guy! She does make Tahir dance a merry tango trying to find her! Insecurities, doubts and plain old confusion can get love derailed easily.

These three stories too had their fair share of trouble but love never gave up. Aditi writes and shares the thoughts of the characters and how they strive to find true love. This genre of NRI Romance is new for me but I enjoyed reading it.

I liked that though the three stories are independent and can be read separately but they are connected as they are friends and come together as an extended family.

These are light stories that can be read independently and enjoyed. The Mr Imperfect Series has quite perfect heroes and ideal heroines. This book is ideal to be read while unwinding from our busy schedules.

(I received a copy of this book from the Author/ The Book Club in return of  my honest review.)




Mr. Imperfect Series 
by 
Aditi Chopra





The Blurb


Three intriguing women, Three Imperfect men, Three fascinating stories!

House of Love
Real estate agent Nikki Desai has a rule of not dating her clients. When she hosts an open house on a cold Dallas afternoon, she didn't know what was in store for her. Much like Dallas' unexpected weather, Karan Malhotra, a business consultant, walks into her life and challenges every belief she holds close to her heart. Karan manages to cajole Nikki, but is she making a mistake in breaking her rule by dating Karan?

Arranged Marriage
Arranged marriage - where love happens after marriage or does it? Ishan, a NRI from Dallas, Texas visits his home country, India and gets entangled in his parents' plan to get him married. Sonali is a simple girl from a small town called Meerut and has no desire to leave India. However, she reluctantly agrees to marry Ishan. But when she settles with him in a foreign country, she is completely lost and homesick. Will Sonali find love in a conventionally arranged marriage?

Love Tango
Maya Sarin is sensuous and enterprising. She runs a dance school in the suburb of Dallas. Tahir Ali is an aspiring author who owns a Mediterranean restaurant in the area. When his regular dancer bails out on him, he rushes in Maya as a replacement. Maya is the inspiration that he had been longing for; she feeds his creative soul. Do they have any future together? Explore their passion and intrigue in Love Tango.

Buy @



Watch It 





Meet the Author




Aditi Chopra was born in India and now lives in Texas with her family. She writes NRI (Non Resident Indian) fiction and non-fiction books.

Aditi has an engineering background but she has found her creative bone in fiction writing. Her stories range from Contemporary Romance to Women's Fiction. You might see a glimpse of Bollywood in her stories and will definitely enjoy the emotional ride.

Aditi focuses on leadership skills in her non-fiction books. Her readers get practical take-aways that they can utilize in their career.

Aditi is also a member of Women's Fiction Writers Association.



You can stalk her @

                          

         


This Tour is Hosted by 



26 Stories, Colours, Emotions. Book Review


This is a short story collection that not only has varied emotion in it, it also evokes so many emotions from the reader. I finished the book in one sitting and enjoyed each of the 26 tales varied as they were.

Aditi has written them with a fine balance between colors and emotions and ensuring that each story is a peek into the emotions and how they match the colors. The stories are written in a crisp style with and no unnecessary word. I must praise the author for conveying so much in so few words. The book left me with wishing to read more of her work. An excellent play of emotions, human sentiments and the ugly side of a human being. How easy it is for a person to forget a loved one? How love means the ultimate sacrifice for some and means never abandoning a person for others.

I was especially moved by these stories, I Named Him Dandelion, Grey Powder, The Bleeding Ivory gave me Goosebumps!  The Khakee Distress, Nude, The Periwinkle Ribbon, Loving Vanilla, The Xanthic Nightmares all arouse strong emotions.

For me it is a well written book if it manages to engross me and make me lose my cool; this book did both. Aditi, writes like an experienced traveler rather than a young girl; very admirable.

A must read for when you want to really feel deeply about life. Pick it for your weekend.


(I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange of my review.)





BOOK BLURB

This anthology is an attempt at crafting stories which subscribe to the genre of flash-fiction which is a compendium of extremely brief narratives and stories. This anthology strives to explore the myriad hues of life by painting 26 bite-sized stories, each based on 26 colours which commence with every letter of the alphabet from A to Z. The themes developed in these stories range from marital despair to urban city-life blues, from love to loss, from child abuse to infidelity, divorce, and much more. 

This anthology is inspired from ideas which took shape during the April A- Z blogging challenge which the author undertook in 2014. Each story has been written in just one day and tries to bear testimony to the fact that short, swiftly written, and transient narratives can be as powerful as the complexly constructed lines of drawn-out prose.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Aditi Kaushiva


A dreamer. A believer. An enthusiast. I'm in love with Life and I strongly pursue 'Life is what YOU make of it'. A banker by profession and a blogger by chance, I'm here to share my world with you. It may not always be perfect but I certainly strive to make it beautiful. If you happen to visit my space do leave a comment...share your life's snippets...I'd love to strike up a beautiful conversation with you!!



Connect with Aditi @








Friday, July 3, 2015

#SnapYourWeek 27


Horns!!


Saw these cows by  the roadside, cooling off in the hot summer; such majestic animals!


How to #SnapYourWeek


1.  Take a picture that you feel was the most memorable or influential moment of your week and post it on your blog. Use the hash-tag #SnapYourWeek

2.  Describe the picture in 20 words or less if you wish. No more than 20 words but none if you don’t want to!

3.  Please add the URL to your post in the comments at the end of this post. 

4.  Please share the #SnapYourWeek linkup post with your blog readers.  Kindly do visit some of the blog links in the comments and comment on their posts

5.  Do it every week for 52 weeks every Friday.


Summer's List Book Review









This book Summers List reads like a story with hints of a fairy tale in it. Not because of the story line or the characters but the general feel of the book is of sweet, tender love. There is so much love in the book from Summer, Martin, Miss Beetle and Granny Snow who is the catalyst of all the good things happening around. 

The story starts on a sad note as Summer is breaking up with her fiancĂ© Elliot Whitfield, who seems like a self obsessed control freak. Good riddance there! I found the initial chapters a bit gloomy as Summer had to deal with a few disappointments but as every cloud has a silver lining so did her troubles. Soon her granny sets her off with a ‘bucket list’, a bitter sweet list of all the things Summer must do in order to find herself. Her granny even helps her find her childhood friend Martin to help her finish the list.

The tag line of the book is “A dying wish alters the course of a young woman's life.” Quite apt since before she passes her Granny ensures she has sent Summer on a journey that will determine her future and heal her past.

Martin is her childhood friend, a cute, sexy, nerd who is always tripping over his compliments. I had a good laugh over many of his thoughts. He is a solid support and the  reason Summer never felt at ease with Elliot or had a steady relationship. She too realizes soon enough that she has never truly forgotten him and he echoes her sentiments but both find their friendship so valuable that they hesitate to take the step towards love. Fear and misunderstanding along with the big family drama at Martin’s house ensures there is never a dull moment in the book. Love takes its own sweet time in making its presence felt.

I found the book a light read peppered with the goodness of remembering God and spreading goodness. The world needs more people like Summer and Martin. Of all the characters I found Miss Beetle the most endearing with her simple demeanor and loyalty. Love resides in many forms and this book Summers List is a perfect example. The characters are well etched and add to the storyline. In fact, I would love to read Desmond’s story as his character has so many layers and would be an interesting challenge to find his perfect girl.

I enjoyed the bucket list, though it was a short one, it could have had a few more fun and challenging items. Granny Snow was quite a lady so the list felt a bit incomplete to me. The images at the beginning of each chapter were a nice touch and even though the language was a bit like the old times, it did suit the characters.

I also loved the tag line of her website, “Stories with a Soft Landing……Because Life is Hard!” 

I totally agree with it even though this is the first book I have read by Anita Higman, I have added her to my list of authors that must be read again and she has 40 published books!!

This book has an old world charm that kept me glued to the book eagerly reading as Summer completed her bucket list and found Snow in Summer.

(I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange of my review.)





About the book:

Summer's List (River North, June 2015)

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman's life.

Life hadn't been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness---caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother's bookstore---she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love . . . didn't turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something---or someone.

Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer's past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texassummer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

Purchase a copy:







About the author:

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Find Anita online:






Wednesday, July 1, 2015

#IndiaShining for #IndiasDaughter

I had written these thoughts quite some time back. After reading Beloo's articles on the topic and could just not find the right moment to publish it. So much has been said and discussed yet it skirts around the main issue of  'safety & freedom'.
My fervent wish is for me to live to see the day when my children step out of the house anytime of the day or night assured in the fact that it is safe for all of them.


Living in an obscure part of the country, in an army cantonment – “hallmark” of safe places to live in India, I almost forget that another India lives close by. One that threatens to intrude many times but if I turn off the telly and switch off my ‘notifications’ from all the apps on my smart phone; I can believe that I truly live in a paradise. 

Actually a place near our cantt is called ‘Lal Kutri’ and it is “Out of Bounds” for all army personnel but I think it is not so much for the name and more for the kind of image it has.  The teeming masses of India live in many such areas and many of them in the heart of the cities all over the country and since I have seen at least 70% of India, and found them in every city, town or state.

Though they are not so safe now with the influx and over lapping of civilian and ‘out of bound’ areas close by but still the thought is always at the back of our minds that we are in a place so removed from #NirbhayasIndia

The comfort of going out for a late night walk, the ease of hopping over a friend’s house at odd hours, going for a walk during the misty twilight zone or sitting out in my lawn in my garden till 2 am oblivious to the threats and struggles so many of my kind face. I remember my mom always telling me that ‘good girls’ come home before the street lights are switched on. Now I realize it had less to do with me being good and more with the world being ‘big & bad’. That we lived in a civil colony during those days never occurred to my mind till we shifted to another cantt and were out till the owls ate their dinner!

I can always live in oblivion if I tune out of all the tweets and headlines, I did not even read about the German professor’s action till I read Beloo’s article and found out. I just wanted to bury it all. The bad press, the rotten comments, the ostrich’s head in the sand attitude and the patronizing tones and discourses. All of them just beating their own trumpet and forgetting the biggest chunk of the pie – India. Not just any India but the heart of India, the teeming millions that live and die silently, softly and ignorantly. Those scores of human beings that have been generalized in the sentences of so many ‘intellectuals, politicians, educated and learned men & women’.

Did ask to be all dyed by the same ink as that of the rapists and his friends and family?

Do they even have a say in this debate and discourse that has been labeling and stereotyping all of India?

Are they even aware that this is being done and now they are all potential rapists or victims?

Why I mentioned Beloo Mehra’s Article is because unlike most of the press that I have been reading and refraining from commenting have been either lambasting the BBC Documentary or have been heralding it as the next big ‘wakeup call for India!

Beloo on the other hand has been the talking about the insanity of jumping the gun even before hearing the whole story and trying to take sides. 
Read her post here Perpetually Outraged http://www.newsinsight.net/Perpetuallyoutraged.aspx#page=page-1

Both thoughts are a bit illogical and trivial I feel and her voice of reason has been calming me down. It helped me not tweet or write something that I would have regretted as is the case most often when we do something in the heat of the moment.

Instead today after reading her post on the documentary and its impact I chose to write this and I ask you to think about the scores of Indians who do not read or write. Those who have not heard of #twitter #facebook and that the developed nations are still telling us what to think and how to act..

Those who do not even know that their image has been tarnished because either they don’t feel anything wrong in their actions of abusing, hurting, raping or killing a woman or those who are not even aware that such issues plague the nation.

I ask you try and first spread awareness, education and basic needs for our India before jumping the gun and spending scores of man-hours and time and money on any one individual’s idea of #India

Let’s keep our #IndiaShining and join hands to make the whole of India like our cantonments so no mother has to tell her child – boy or girl, women, men, ladies, mothers, sons, brothers, sisters, grandfathers and grandmothers to come home before the street lights come on.

I leave you with words from Beloo’s post, truly something to think about…….

If some of my fellow Indians still believe that we should not be concerned about our 'image' but only the 'real problem,' I would say that the solution to the problem, any problem, can never be found in media discourse. Instead, the propagandic nature of today's media discourse actually discourages serious problem-solving by simply provoking more momentary sensationalism rather than facilitating a sincere and sustainable awakening and introspection. 


Read more at :  letbeautybeyourconstantideal.blogspot.in



Thank you for reading.