Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Book Tour for Breathing Two Worlds by Ruchira Khanna





About the Book:
Neena Arya, a Delhi-born goes abroad for further studies and decides to settle down there. Determined to be a 'somebody' from a 'nobody' she blends with the Americans via the accent and their mannerisms while having a live-in relationship with her European boyfriend, Adan Somoza.

When illness hits home, Neena rushes to meet her ailing dad. Tragedy strikes and amidst the mingling with relatives and friends, she finds herself suffocated with the two different cultures that she has been breathing since she moved to the United States. How will she strike a balance between both the cultures as she continues to support her widowed mother? Will she be able to do justice to her personal and professional life after the loss?

Amidst the adjusting she bonds with an ally and learns about ties beyond blood. On what grounds will she be able to form an invisible thread that she has longed for since childhood?

Breathing Two Worlds ventures into cultures and ethnicity allowing Neena to ponder upon her foundation and priorities.

Available on Amazon

Book Trailer: 

Excerpt:

"Oh!" the Mom answered, but could not contain her curiosity with one hand holding the hyper toddler and the other on her hip she could not resist, "You two don't look like brother-sister, hmmm. So, what is your relationship?" she inquired with a slight smile in a soft voice but without any inhibition. A handful of seniors sitting in the same room observed all the drama and nodded to each other while their fingers were moving on the Tulsi neck beads.

Neena rolled her eyes and thought to herself, "Jeez! We Indians are always darn inquisitive."
Nikhil immediately got up and started walking towards the dining area. This was happening to them for the umpteenth time, and he was now tired of clarifying things. He had lived in this country for half a decade now and still he could never understand the fascination Indians had for marriage and children. 

Neena was confused at first because it was unlike Nikhil to be so rude. On the contrary, sometimes Neena referred to him on lessons in patience but today it was different. But then she didn’t have a choice; she felt it was rude to walk away from the young mother leaving the conversation unanswered. Moreover given Indian mentality in all possibility, she might even follow them till she had a convincing answer to her question. 




About the Author:
Ruchira Khanna, a biochemist turned writer, left her homeland of India to study in America, where she obtained her Master’s degree in Biochemistry from SJSU and a degree in Technical Writing from UC Berkeley.

After finishing her studies, Ruchira worked as a biochemist at a Silicon Valley startup for five years. After the birth of her son, Ruchira took a job as a technical writer, so that she could work from home. Soon, she began doing freelance writing work as well.

Her love of writing grew and she started working on her own books. After four years of freelancing, Ruchira published her first book, a fiction novel for adults called Choices.

Then came the children’s book The Adventures of Alex and Angelo: The Mystery of the Missing Iguana. She got a thumb’s up review from Kirkus Reviews.

In January 2016, she has published her second fictional novel Voyagers into the Unknown. It talks about the quest for happiness as the heavy hearted tourists travel miles from different parts of the world to Raj Touristry in Agra, India. Return to their respective home with a healed heart. This book talks about their journey!

In Breathing Two Worlds, Ruchira talks about ethnicity and cultures, and helps to strike a balance via a fiction-drama novel as her characters breathe two worlds.

In addition to writing books, she is a holistic healer associated with Stanford Healing Partners and also maintains a blog of daily mantras on Blogspot, called Abracabadra. Ruchira currently resides in California with her family.



Excerpt


"Oh!" the Mom answered, but could not contain her curiosity with one hand holding the hyper toddler and the other on her hip she could not resist, "You two don't look like brother-sister, hmmm. So, what is your relationship?" she inquired with a slight smile in a soft voice but without any inhibition. A handful of seniors sitting in the same room observed all the drama and nodded to each other while their fingers were moving on the Tulsi neck beads.

Neena rolled her eyes and thought to herself, "Jeez! We Indians are always darn inquisitive."
Nikhil immediately got up and started walking towards the dining area. This was happening to them for the umpteenth time, and he was now tired of clarifying things. He had lived in this country for half a decade now and still he could never understand the fascination Indians had for marriage and children. 

Neena was confused at first because it was unlike Nikhil to be so rude. On the contrary, sometimes Neena referred to him on lessons in patience but today it was different. But then she didn’t have a choice; she felt it was rude to walk away from the young mother leaving the conversation unanswered. Moreover given Indian mentality in all possibility, she might even follow them till she had a convincing answer to her question. 





Find her on: Website Blog



Booked 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton

Booked 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery, #1)
goodreads.com


*Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book one in the new Sophie Kimball Mystery series. We get to meet Sophie, called Phee, who works in accounts payable at her local police precinct. She is a divorced mother of a grown child that lives in Minnesota while her mother lives in Arizona. Mom calls to tell her that her most recent book club book comes with a curse that has her club members dropping like flies (though they are all elderly making the deaths not a total surprise). Mom convinces Phee to fly out to investigate though she readily tells her that investigation is not part of her skill set. The resulting attempts are quite comical though she does mostly solve the case (there are still a few surprises now matter how diligently she tries). The characters are all interesting (the dog may be my favorite) and I just loved the area that contains them all. The writing is smooth and the mystery follows a logical time line without seeming boring or bogged down. A touch of comical relief ties it all together with a surprise twist at the very end. I really enjoyed reading this mystery cozy so it gets 4/5 stars. My only regret is that I now have to wait months for the second book to come out.....

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett

The Space Between the Stars
goodreads.com


*Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

In this book Earth became overpopulated so the government sanctioned enforced relocation to other worlds that were habitable (these apparently are spread all over the galaxy with varying degrees of successful settlement). Once established a devastating virus pops. It has a long incubation period so by the time we know it exists it is too late. This virus has a 99.99999 fatality rate and the final results is a pile of dust that the body turns into. I have to give mad props for the easy death clean-up I have to admit. The main character wakes up as one of the few survivors and spends the rest of the book trying to get back to Earth. She is rescued by a ship that happens to be in the area along with the other two survivors on her planet. The trip from there showcases the wide range of human reactions to events this catastrophic including both the good and evil people. The writing is excellent and the development is smooth. The details kept me hooked until the very last page wondering what was going to happen next and where would they end up. A must read for fans of fantasy utopian books. I give it 4/5 stars.

The Art if Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries

The Art of Sinning (Sinful Suitors, #1)
goodreads.com


Book one in the Sinful Suitors series. Meet Jeremy a famous American artist that is visiting England where he is convinced to paint a portrait of a wealthy young woman names Yvette. He agrees because he makes an arrangement with her to paint a completely separate painting in the evenings that her brother would never approve of.  Yvette agrees because she also has a secret motive that she needs help with thanks to her rogue of a younger brother. All of the hidden arrangements makes for an interesting story as all of the characters interact with one another trying to keep everything secret. The romance angle flows fairly smoothly though I love how once he finally realizes he wants to marry her she says no which he totally deserves. This is a must read for fans of historical romances as Jeffries does an excellent job of telling their story while still keeping things historical as well as interesting along the way.

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

Come Sundown
goodreads.com


This book starts by following a girl in her twenties on her way home after being away for three years. She is kidnapped before she can get there but since her family had no clue she was on her way they have no way to know this. The story then jumps ahead about 25 years to follow her modern day family members as they go about their day-to-day lives until bad things start to happen. Once women start turning up dead things really heat up until one day the original girl is found on the side of the road after being held captive for the entire time she was gone. The details of the story were good and I enjoyed the characters. The development was quite slow for parts of the book though which made it feel like I had been reading the thing forever though I knew that I had been working on it for long. I really wanted it to hurry up and get to the point already. Once it did the story moved really quick making the last few chapters move rather fast. Due to the bog down I can only give it 3/5 stars which I admit is low for a Nora Roberts book as they are usually much better than this.

Broken Pride by Erin Hunter

Broken Pride (Bravelands, #1)
goodreads.com


Book one in a brand new series called Bravelands. This author is famous for her cat, bear, and dog books though this time we get a group of critters are at home in Africa. The story follows a young lion cub after his father is killed which forces him to flee for his life. He is taken in by a group of baboons for a year, but then some strange and scary things start happening. Written for grades 3-7 this is the perfect story for young readers that are animal lovers. There is lots of action dispersed between multiple lovable young animals (lion cubs, young baboons, and even a young elephant) that makes the reader not want to put down the book until the very last page. I absolutely loved this story and am looking forward to more books in the series at a later date. I give it 5/5 stars because I loved every minute of it.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Rise of the Isle of the Lost by Melissa De la Cruz

Rise of the Isle of the Lost (Descendants #3)
goodreads.com


Book three in the Descendants series. Written for grades 4-7 these books tell the stories of the kids of the villains from pretty much all of the Disney movies. The bad guys were all rounded up onto an island where there is a barrier that prevents them from accessing magic. In the first book it was decided that some of the kids wold be brought back to join the others and go to school together. By this book the kids are nice and settled after saving the day in the first two books, but then things go wonky again when Triton's trident goes missing. They have to find it before the remaining island residents do. This leads to a race for the finish line that leads to a very interesting battle. Since I am a huge Disney fan these are the perfect books for me as they blend the characters I love already with new ones along with plenty of action, fantasy, magic, and in-depth personalities. This book is perfect for the age group it was written for. I really enjoyed reading it so it gets 4/5 stars.

Wolf Trouble by Paige Tyler

Wolf Trouble (SWAT, #2)
goodreads.com


Book two in the SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team series. Since I enjoyed the first book I just had to move right to the next one after I finished it to see where the story was going next. We got to meet the entire team in book one but for this one we get to learn more about Xander one of the leaders of the two teams they use. To maintain PC requirements Gage has to add a female to his squad. This freaks out the others because they have never seen a female werewolf and they are not wanting to have to hide what they can do from a civilian/human one. Luckily Gage knows where a female shifter is so he recruits her to their team which she is happy to do since she has some drama at her current home. Khaki is excited to join the SWAT team at least until she overhears Xander trying to remove her from his team. She thinks he does not like her so she tries extra hard to earn his approval. What she doesn't know is that he really likes her too much so he trying to keep his distance. The struggle between the two is quite comical and the addition of the bad guys just makes it that much better. The blend of romance, action, and shifters is an awesome combination making it a must read for fans of those genres. I give it 4/5 stars.

Hungry Like a Wolf by Paige Tyler

Hungry Like the Wolf (SWAT, #1)
goodreads.com


Book one in the SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team series. Meet the SWAT team of Dallas that is made up of werewolves though the world is completely unaware of this fact. They have to keep this hidden since people are just so accepting of people that are different (heavy sarcasm goes with this sentence). In this world werewolves are born as normal people but if they go through a very high stress combat/violent encounter they can change if they have wolf DNA in their genes. It is kind-of like Russian roulette regarding whether you can be one or not. Of course most of them served in the military or law enforcement which is how they were involved in the changing situation to begin with. Gage is the leader of the group and he finds himself having to deal with a reporter that thinks they have secrets to hide. She is thinking drugs but they are actually hiding their abilities. Throughout the story they find out they are each others one and only making it impossible for them to resist each other. Mac has to decide if she loves Gage more than she loves her career while they are both fighting the bad guys. This is an interesting story with a good foundation. The development is awesome and the characters are easy to relate to. This is a must read for fans of paranormal romances. I give it 4/5 stars.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan

Rise of Fire (Reign of Shadows, #2)
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Book two of Reign of Shadows series or trilogy I'm not sure at this point. Book one introduced us to Luna, the rightful heir to Relhok, and Fowler the heir apparent as the meet one another in the world after the eclipse. Fowler is injured quite badly and Luna is not sure that he will survive which forces her to accept the help of some passing soldiers from a neighboring country though she knows this is a risk. Both of their identities are soon discovered which makes them pretty much prisoners. They must escape from the clutches of the royal family or suffer the consequences forever. The book started out pretty good with the fighting and the action but then it moved into royal politics which I do not enjoyed. It felt as if they were captured in the royal household forever making it seem like the book dragged on and on. It does pick back up at the end though making the boring parts a little more worth while. It was not as good as the first book though still enjoyable so I give it 3/5 stars though I really hope the next one goes back to being really good.

By Cook or by Crook by Maya Corrigan

By Cook or by Crook (A Five-Ingredient Mystery, #1)
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Book on in the Five-Ingredient Mystery series. After a horrible car accident that tanks her career Val moves from fast-paced New York to the slower Chesapeake Bay area to stay with her grandfather. Since she loves to cook she is running the cafe at the local fitness club trying to make it more healthy and popular at the same time. She finds a member dead and her cousin who happens to be her best friend is the prime suspect since the dead woman was having an affair with her husband. Val finds herself investigating the murder in an interesting manner that of course puts her in danger. The characters are good, the writing is strong, development is smooth, and the blend is all quite nice to be honest. Her grandfather is quite the character and I just love how he refuses to use a recipe with more than five ingredients (hence the series title). His other surprises were quite comical as well and they added some excellent transitions for the story itself. This was a very enjoyable cozy mystery so I give it 4/5 stars.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)
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Book two in The Dark Artifices series. I just have to say that this book was awesome!!! I loved the Mortal Instruments series and this one picks up a few years after the events that happened in that one. Book one introduced us to the new group of kids in the Shadow Hunter world, and by this one they are working together rather nicely I must admit. Besides the incredible world building this book is full of action, intrigued, romance, drama, fantasy, and so much more all following a logical sequence with plenty of surprises along the way until we hit the very end which of course includes a cliff-hanger that had me screaming "NO" as I turned the very last page. Since I was hooked from the very first page to the last this book gets 5/5 stars no I wish the we could have the next installment sooner than 2018.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer of Fire by L.G. Surgeson

Summer of Fire (Aberddu Adventures Prequel)
goodreads.com


*Received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Well this book was definitely different. It is supposed to tell the history of the events that all converged to cause what is known as "The Summer of Fire" which from what I can tell must be mentioned in others books in this series. The beginning was very confusing as it jumps around from character to character and all different time frames. It took me a while to get it all straightened out in my head regrading who was doing what plus where they were located. My next hurdle was some of the language. First there are some made up words which is fine since I read quite a bit of fantasy I'm used to that but on top of that there are some really huge regular words that while I understood them they made me feel that the author was trying to hard to get his point across or just sitting next to a thesaurus. It is a good fantasy story line though if you can get past all of that. I am not sure this was the book for me though. I only want to give it 2.5 stars but since half stars are not an option on Goodreads I gave it a 3 on there.

Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall (Honeychurch Hall Mystery #4)
goodreads.com


Book four in the Honeychurch Hall Mystery series. This may be my favorite book of the series yet. A battle reenactment is set to happen in the area and Iris is freaking out because her publisher claims her newest manuscript never arrived even though she shipped it weeks ago. Since she insists on using an old typewriter of course she does not have a copy (which Kat harasses her about to no end saying she could at least photocopy it) so Kat has to help her hunt it down. Tracking says it never left the local post office so she goes to check. Muriel gets really upset (especially since her husband recently died) and pretty much kicks her out. The next things they known the manuscript shows up with the publisher in terrible condition and with missing pages. While their investigation continues Muriel is found dead making Kat and Iris the prime suspects though there are lots of other things coming up missing as well. Yet again the two make some of the funny decisions ever when it comes to finding out what happened and the blend of all the different characters makes for quite a fascinating story to say the least. I just love the writing style of this series and now my only regret is that I am out of more books until she writes another one. I give this one 4/5 stars.

A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall (Honeychurch Hall Mystery #3)
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Book three in the Honeychurch Hall Mystery series. After a ceiling collapses in one of the room at the main house Kat is asked to come in to evaluate and take to auction a set of really old drawings. While trying to remove them from the wall she finds a hidden double blind that just happens to contain a mummified body. When her identity is discovered Iris becomes the main suspect due to her wild past and the fact that she was at the ball the woman was last seen at. Iris's old flame shows up as well which just makes things even more complicated. Having decided to stay in the country with her mother is trying to open her own antique shop only to find herself trying to help her mother. The secrets and wild schemes had me laughing as the story progressed. The little details really tie in the story, and I am completely in love with the main characters by this point as we have learned so many sides of their personalities by this point in the series. This is a must read for all fans of cozy mysteries and I give it 4/5 stars since I enjoyed it so much.

Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall (Honeychurch Hall Mystery, #2)
goodreads.com


Book two in the Honeychurch Hall Mystery series. For this installment the community is in an uproar after being informed that a railroad line is supposed to go in that would go across the historical land destroying all kinds of stuff.Of course the residents are in an uproar and wish to gather to fight the proposed route. Of course they vote to have Kat as the face of their movement whether she really wants to or not which delays her plans to return to London now that her mother no longer needs her quite so much. Of course a dead body is found which leads to a murder investigation that Kat finds herself involved in no matter what she prefers that has quite a few twists along the way. These books are the perfect blend of characters, setting, details, whimsy, and just plan fun. Kat's mother Iris has me constantly shaking me head as she comes up with her crazy ideas while trying to keep all of her secrets. The English countryside is apparently just full of strong personalities that are up to no good. I give this one 4/5 stars since I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to reading the next installment in the series.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Plantation Shudders by Ellen Byron

Plantation Shudders (Cajun Country Mystery, #1)
goodreads.com


Book one in the Cajun Country Mystery series. Welcome to Louisiana the home of big plantations and lots of Southern history. Maggie Crozat has returned to the small town she grew up in to help her family run the Crozat B&B. She also gives tours at a rivals families old plantation that is now open to the public instead of inhabited anymore. They have a house full of guests when a hard to deal with older couple suddenly drops dead in the middle of a storm making them all suspects. With the help of a new detective Maggie is able to help solve the case in a round about manner. The characters are good and so is the setting. There were quite a few spots that seemed a little stalled which I found a little boring but past that the story was pretty good. The mystery was good with a nice twist that I enjoy. I give it 3/5 stars because I like it but found it easy to put down while a little hard to pick back up.

Murder at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

Murder at Honeychurch Hall (Honeychurch Hall Mystery, #1)
goodreads.com


Book one in the Honeychurch Hall Mystery series. Kat Stanford has just quite her t.v. job in London and now she has to hunt down her mother after she calls asking for help. Her mother Iris has broken her hand but what Kat does not know is that she has also relocated to a secluded historical Carriage House on an historic property called Honeychurch Hall in the countryside of England. Once she arrives she finds the place a shambles after being abandoned for years, her mother almost helpless, and the surprise do not seem to stop from that point on. By the end Kat knows an entirely different side of her mother that she never knew existed. A nanny comes up missing shortly after her arrival, and the housekeeper is found dead not too long after that. Kat finds herself as a suspect so she has to figure out what really happened though in a very unconventional way. This is a lovely estate with a group of interesting characters such as young Harry and Mr. Chips that blends into a wonderful story that I really quite enjoyed. A must read for cozy mystery fans. It gets 4/5 stars.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May

The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer, #3)
goodreads.com


Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Expected publication date is June 13, 2017.

The third and final book in the Falconer trilogy. The first two books of this trilogy laid the groundwork for the giant final battle that must take place in this one. Aileana has been trained to kill the Fae and along the way she fell in love with the Unseelie King. Book two ended with a cliffhanger of her being dead which is where this one picks up. The book starts a little slow because it has to but then things just start happening one after another until I found it impossible to put the book down for even a second. The story wraps up with a bang and I did not see the end coming at all though I really enjoyed it considering it a pleasant surprise. If you enjoyed the first two you have to read this. Great for YA fantasy fans. I give it 5/5 stars as I loved every single minute of it and am really looking forward to what this author chooses to do next.

Murder in the Mystery Suite by Ellery Adams

Murder in the Mystery Suite (Book Retreat Mysteries, #1)
goodreads.com


Book one in the Book Retreat Mystery series. Meet Jane a widowed mother of twins who is the the manager of an old time retreat owned by her family known as Storyton Hall that was created as an oasis for readers. Each room is themed to a specific author and genre with lots of books, a lending library, and reading nooks spread everywhere. To increase revenue Jane decides to host a mystery retreat with lots of events and games designed around the theme that are meant to last for the week. Guests are encouraged to dress like their favorite detective as well. Things start out wonderfully until first Jane's Aunt collapses and a guest is found murdered in his room. With the change in family stuff Jane learns a family secret that is just awesome (I was really jealous though I will not give any spoilers as to the why) that changes her whole life for the better in my opinion. I really enjoyed the progression of the story, the whimsy of the twins, and the way Jane was able to handle everything that was thrown her way. Not that the foundation for the series is built I am looking forward to reading the next book to see where her training takes her next. I give this one 4/5 stars since I really enjoyed reading it.