Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Around the World in 80 Tales by Dave Tomlinson – Book Review

Book Summary

80 Stories, 25 Countries, 5 Continents, One Heck of a Ride! A journey of captivating true travel stories from that will inspire, amuse and amaze. This fascinating kaleidoscope of people, places, food and culture brings to life the colourful experiences of travelling the world on a budget!

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

Around the World in 80 Tales by Dave Tomlinson is a contemporary journey across several continents and countries. Tomlinson says he's been to five continents and almost 60 countries, and in his book, he tells the reader about his adventures.

The book is an excellent example of travel literature. Tomlinson makes sure that the reader does tire of any of his stories by ensuring that none of his tales exceeds 500 words.

I must say the opening was a little rough for me though. The first tale in the book annoyed me because of the author’s negative comment on something religious. Awakened by a resounding Islamic prayer, the author's description of “the rudest wake-up call imaginable” irritated me. Still, I had never considered how others might view the prayer calls, so I let it slide while bearing in mind that some places might have it higher than others, especially the dawn prayer, when everything is very calm and there isn’t the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

After that first bit, the book moved smoothly and was quite exciting in certain places. Among my favourites were the stories on the Cambodian and Indian temples.

"My first experience on the Indian railway wasn't just a train journey, it was an endurance test."

Tomlinson has a thing for hiking – in fact you might get a little tired just reading about all the hiking he does. But there are other times when he recommends certain beaches, how to get there and informs the reader what each country, region or place is popular for.

One of the things I liked about Around the World in 80 Tales was the way Tomlinson gives recommendations and sometimes warnings, particularly about dangerous roads, hikes or simply areas popular with pickpockets. He also makes a lot of notes on what to do if you're travelling on a budget.

"There is something about clinging to a rope on a steep granite slope in bone-chilling wind that almost makes you question your sanity a little. The mountain is unforgiving and if you don't rise to its challenge it will defeat you." From “Climbing Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia”

In Around the World in 80 Tales, Tomlinson provides a photograph after each tale, commemorating the event or the adventure. Almost all images are his own with the exception of two or three.

The Camel safari in India’s Thar Desert is definitely one of the funniest stories in the book. Tomlinson is honest, often sarcastic and definitely lands himself in a few dilemmas and funny situations.

"In the first hotel the staff looked at me like I'd just crawled out of a swamp. I wouldn't have boarded my dog at the second one. Another didn't have any vacancy followed by one where nobody seemed to know English." – From "Trouble in the capital city of Sri Lanka"

I also liked that Tomlinson isn’t merely promoting certain places in Around the World in 80 Tales, but is rather giving his honest opinions and experiences.

At the beginning, Tomlinson says that he separated the tales so that they are not all grouped by country. Having finished the book, I felt that I would have preferred reading the tales of each country separately instead of jumping from Australia to Morocco to India then back to Australia or going to Ecuador then jumping around a bit then back to Ecuador 10 tales later. However, that is just a personal preference.

Around the World in 80 Tales is a quick and light read. You don’t need to read the stories in order. The book serves as a small guide to places worth visiting – or worth skipping – depending on your taste and preferences.

Overall, I’ve found Around the World in 80 Tales by Dave Tomlinson to be exciting, interesting and most importantly informative. I highly recommend it.

(There are a few stories that contain adult content due to the nature of certain temples and you can tell those from the names given to them, but otherwise the book can be read by all ages).

There are places in the book that I would never have considered but now might put them on my list, while I’m satisfied to merely learn about others or know they are not for me.
 
Overall rating: 4 stars



Note: I received a free copy of Around the World in 80 Tales from the author, Dave Tomlinson, in exchange for an honest review. 


Purchase links for Around the World in 80 Tales by Dave Tomlinson: Amazon Kindle, Step Ahead Travel. 

Connect with Dave via Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hold Me - Poem


Hold me close,
Pat me on my back,
Kiss my hair,
Let me feel you close

I need you!

Calm my burning nerves,
My tempestuous emotions,
Reign in my held back tears
Or let them flow
And kiss them away

Hold Me
When no else would

Ease my shaking bones
My unknown fear

Hold me!

Let your love wash over me,
Let my burdens fall,
Shatter to the ground.

Let your light warm me,
Your understanding, engulf me,
Your love, hold me tight

Let all the masks fall,
All the hardships fade,
All the tension wither.

Hold me!

Wake me from the darkness
To your light,
Your love

My raging mind,
My shaking bones,
My burning tears

Calm them.
Calm Me.

Hold me!

And let me sleep in your arms
Until my tempest subsides,
Till I can stand on my own feet,
Till all my fears and worries wear away.

Calm Me!
Hold Me!


By: Nada Adel Sobhi


Written Saturday, 10 June at 2:20 am


Photography by Nada Adel Sobhi

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Ghost of You and Me by Kelly Oram - Spotlight & Giveaway


The Ghost of You and Me by Kelly Oram

How do you tell someone who hates you and blames you for the death of his best friend that you miss him?

From the bestselling teen and young adult author of Cinder & Ella comes a new heart-wrenching romance sure to bring all the feels.

The tragic death of Spencer Schott unravels the lives of the two people he loved most—his girlfriend, Bailey, and his best friend, Wes. Secrets and guilt from that fateful night keep both Bailey and Wes from overcoming Spencer’s loss and moving on with their lives.

Now, nearly a year later, both Bailey and Wes are still so broken over what happened that Spencer can’t find peace in the afterlife. In order to put his soul to rest, he’s given one chance to come back and set things right...even if that means setting up his girlfriend with his best friend.

With the emotional resonance of Jellicoe Road and the magical realism of The Lovely Bones, The Ghost of You and Me is a story about overcoming grief, finding redemption for past mistakes, and the healing power of friendship and love. Fans of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Nicholas Sparks are sure to love this haunting new tale from Kelly Oram.

This is a clean young adult romance stand alone novel that reads like contemporary drama romance and has just a touch of magical realism.









Author Kelly Oram

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.




$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 7/15/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Trending Wedding Destinations in India - Travel Guest Post

  
‘Something old, something new,
Something borrowed something blue…’

Ah, the ages-old adage never fails to excite you. Though all you need is love, to tie the knot, then again, who doesn’t want their ‘big day’ to be cherished. Wedding day is the day when bride and groom do deserve the pedestal to take vows to embrace the worlds of one another. It is indeed an exciting day! And this special day deserves an exceptional venue where no one can hold back from saying ‘I Do’ at once.

The rising trend of doing something “different” on the wedding day has made destination weddings a favourite amongst the couples. Everyone is looking for a unique destination to make the day memorable! So, here are some trending destinations in India, where you get an auspicious start to a new leap in life. Go ahead, take a look!

1.   Goa



Photo by WHATKNOT, CC0 1.0

Aloha Goa! The party capital of India definitely has a lot to boast about. And there is no reason why its pristine- blue skies, shimmering seas and golden sand-beaches cannot be the witness to two love birds, tying a knot. The state has flourished a lot in past few years as a wedding destination and therefore, it lacks no luxury or necessity for the perfect wedding. One look at the bride walking down the aisle in the perfect beach setting fills the hearts with joy and ecstasy.

2.   Kerala

Photo by ravishahi, CC0 1.0

Amidst the beautiful backwaters of Kerala; in the serene dip of the Vembanad Lake and the surrounding Islands; Kerala happens to be the perfect venue to take off into marital bliss. The land is rich with cultural ethnicity and scenic abundance. Whether you want the roaring beach or the lush backwaters in the background, Kerala has it all. Shangumukham Beach, Kovalam and Pathiramanal Island offer different but all in all a perfect setting for the unforgettable wedding!

3.   Jaipur

Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, CC BY 2.0

It is impossible for a girl with big wedding plans to have not dreamt of a Prince Charming whisking her off her feet and riding into the sunset! Well, what if she could be the princess herself! Yes, this can happen in Jaipur, Rajasthan, a city with a royal past. As many majestic forts and palaces in Jaipur, now serve as resorts and wedding venues to give the love stories the most royal beginning. The forts you can chose from include Samod palace, Jal Mahal, Raj Palace, Gold Palace, Rambagh Garden, many of which were once dwelt in by the royal families.

4.   Mumbai


Photo by rooprangdecorators, CC0 1.0

Mumbai- the metro of the stars! Get married in Mumbai which accommodates some of the most beautiful wedding venues in India with the legacy of the J. W. Marriott, Leela, Four Seasons, Vivette Banquet, Kohinoor and plenty more. Choose the theme you want to go for at your wedding, and these international hotels will figure out a way to give you the perfect wedding backdrop you were looking for. After all, it is your and your families’ day, why take the burden of it on your shoulders when you have a hotel team at your service.

5.   Lakshadweep

Photo by Pexels, CC0 1.0

If you want to etch a wedding to your memory forever, why not visit the faraway lands and tie a knot amidst untouched islands and glistening ocean surrounding them, in Lakshadweep Islands. By inviting your guests to the wedding, you will also treat them with a visit to this exotic destination, covered in lush green evergreen forests. Ever thought of an underwater wedding, if not, think of it now because Lakshadweep offers you a chance to confess your desire for love till eternity form you better half, under waters.

6.   Uttarakhand


Photo by pixagod, CC0 1.0

The beauty of the snow in the background, coupled with tall pine and oak trees with snow dripping off its branches; laughs echoing off the mountains- the perfect picture to frame your happily ever after.  The mesmerizing terrains add that extra tinge of drama to your wedding, capturing the love of the moment. You can plan the event on one of the peak points overlooking alluring mountains or you can book your date with some of the most luxurious hotels in the region, like the picturesque Ahaana, enticing Gateway Resort or the alluring Savoy to mention a few.

7.   Havelock Islands, Andamans


Photo by Pexels, CC0 1.0

Apart from sandy white beaches and turquoise blue waters, the Andaman Islands also harbour some of the most beautiful eco villages and rustic hamlets in its cradle. If you and your partner enjoy the reined in beauty of the nature then I guess, the villages of the Andaman are the perfect spot. After all, there is nothing more melodious than the music of the waves in the background while you look your partner in the eye.

8.   Kanyakumari


Photo by Pexels, CC0 1.0

The southernmost ridge of the country encased with the cascading blue waters and sands splashed with rainbow colours; Kanyakumari is a land with particular significance in the mythology of the country. Seek the blessings of a Goddess who waits an eternity for her long-lost love. Kanyakumari is especially famous for the bliss that hues of sunset bestow to its beaches and a creative wedding planner can turn the location in to the most picturesque venue for the grand affair capturing some wonderful candid shots of the bride and groom.

Every soul dreams of getting married in a heavenly setting- a dream that they have nurtured for quite so long. Some want their special day to be regal, while others want to embrace the serene nature. Let your dreams soar high, because whatever your dream wedding is, India can make it happen!

About the Author:

An ardent traveller by heart and soul, Himanshu is a voracious writer who conjures up magic with his writings. Plan your perfect trips with Himanshu and his first-hand experiences, to make the most out of your dream destinations. Explore his travel stories with Pearls India Tour. Connect with Himanshu via Twitter.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fatal Façade by Wendy Tyson - Interview & Giveaway


Today, I'm touring Fatal Façade by Wendy Tyson and Lori Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.
For my stop, I'm featuring an exclusive interview with author Wendy Tyson. Be sure to check out the giveaway as well.




Book: Fatal Façade
(Book 4 in the Allison Campbell Mystery series)
Genres: Cozy Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 13 June 2017)
Paperback: 278 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635112238
E-BOOK ASIN: B06XP2QG4P

Synopsis:

Allison Campbell accepted a dream assignment: a visit to the Italian Dolomites to help Hollywood socialite Elle Rose reinvent herself. A guest cottage on the grounds of Elle’s historic castle promises to be a much-needed respite from Allison’s harried life on the Philadelphia Main Line, and the picturesque region, with its sharp peaks, rolling pastures, and medieval churches, is the perfect spot from which to plan her upcoming wedding.

Only this idyllic retreat is anything but peaceful. There are the other visitors—an entourage of back-biting expats and Hollywood VIPs. There’s Elle’s famous rock star father, now a shadowy recluse hovering behind the castle’s closed doors. And then there’s Elle’s erratic behavior. Nothing is as it seems. After a guest plummets to her death from a cliff on the castle grounds, Allison’s trip of a lifetime turns nightmarish—but before she can journey home, Allison must catch a killer.


Nadaness In Motion's Exclusive Interview as part of the blog tour

Nadaness In Motion: If you could time travel, which era (and country) would you go to?
Wendy Tyson: Ancient Greece. I’m cognizant of the fact that women didn’t fare so well during many eras and in many countries, including Ancient Greece. They were often viewed as the property of their husbands or fathers and had few rights and little recourse under the law. But to time travel for a visit only? That would be fascinating.

Nadaness In Motion: Who are your favourite – and least favourite – classical authors?
Wendy Tyson: Some of my favorites include Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, Victor Hugo, Jane Austen, Hemmingway, and Dostoyevsky.
Least favorite? Probably James Joyce. I’ve really tried, but his work never captured me.

Nadaness In Motion: Which countries are on your bucket list?
Wendy Tyson: I love to travel and I have a very long bucket list. A few from the top of that list are Argentina and Chile (specifically Patagonia), Norway, and Iceland. I’d also like to visit Easter Island.

Nadaness In Motion: What is the hardest thing about writing a mystery novel?
Wendy Tyson: Rewriting a mystery novel. I love writing that first draft—all the freedom, all that white space. While editing is critical, I find the rewrites harder, especially the third or fourth rewrite, when you’re really fine tuning language and making sure every word advances the story.

Nadaness In Motion: How many books can you work on at the same time? Don't you worry about mixing bits and pieces when working on more than one book?
Wendy Tyson: I’m currently working on three books—two first drafts and a line edit of another.  I don’t really worry about mixing bits and pieces. I work on each book separately. That is, when I’m focusing on one book, that’s all I do, and I usually don’t work on two books during the same day (unless it’s editing). Plus, the characters for each book are very different from one another as are the settings, tone, etc. It’s rather like having different groups of friends. You don’t mix them up.



Nadaness In Motion: What is the first thing you pick when you decide to write a new mystery? (Place, character to die, book name…?)
Wendy Tyson: Title. Although the title may change eventually, having a great title helps me to define the storyline, consider themes, and flesh out the characters. I like having that word or phrase to root the novel.

Nadaness In Motion: If you could pick one of your books to become a movie or a series, which would it be?
Wendy Tyson: I think the Greenhouse Mystery Series would make a terrific Hallmark Channel movie or television series!

Nadaness In Motion: What has impacted your writing the most?
Wendy Tyson: Two things have impacted my writing the most: my upbringing and my career history.
I come from a family of strong women. My great-grandmother came to this country from Italy as a teen. She had an arranged marriage to an older man, little education, and struggled with English. Nevertheless, she learned the language and the culture and eventually became a successful businesswoman while raising her kids, investing in real estate and flipping properties before it was trendy. I’ve been blessed to experience that kind of grit in many of the women in my family. Their strength fuels my characters.
My career history has also impacted my writing. As a young woman I was a horse farm worker and a veterinary assistant. Later I attended graduate school for counseling psychology and was a therapist, then went to law school. All of these career paths have influenced my characters and my books, but my psych background has probably been the most impactful. I was only in my twenties when I was working with troubled teens and their families. Those kids—their vulnerability, their resilience—have stayed with me and inspired not only the Allison Campbell series but characters and themes in other novels.

Nadaness In Motion: Tell us a bit about Allison Campbell, the protagonist of your mystery series.
Wendy Tyson: Allison Campbell is Philadelphia’s premier image consultant. A dissertation shy of a PhD in psychology, she spends her days helping others reinvent themselves, but her biggest transformation was her own.
Allison had a troubled childhood. Determined to overcome an abusive family life, she decided to become a psychologist. While in graduate school, she grew close to a teenage patient who ran away and was presumed dead. Allison blamed herself. Eventually Allison moved to the Philadelphia Main Line and reinvented herself as an image consultant. She’s able to use her understanding of human nature and her own experiences as an outsider to assist others (and solve crimes), but no matter how successful she becomes, the mistakes of her past haunt her.

Nadaness In Motion: How many parts are you planning for the Allison Campbell Mystery Series?

Wendy Tyson: Fatal Façade is the fourth installment in the series. Right now, I have a contract for six books.


GIVEAWAY

Don't forget to enter the giveaway – open internationally as part of the tour!


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Books in the Allison Campbell Mystery Series: https://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?source=bk&t=dollycsthoug-20&bm-id=default&l=ktl&linkId=923fc3619a0d2a2bb4401cb5b4155654&_cb=1493315418061
DYING BRAND  (#3)



Keep up with the rest of the tour: 
June 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT
June 13 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
June 14 – Island Confidential - INTERVIEW
June 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 17 - Nadaness In Motion - INTERVIEW
June 18 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW
June 19 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
June 20 – A Blue Million Books - CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 21 – Queen of All She Reads - REVIEW
June 22 – Sleuth Cafe - SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW
June 24 – Lori's Reading Corner - SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

About The Author

Wendy Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Wendy has returned to her roots and lives there again on a micro-farm with her husband, three sons and three dogs. Wendy’s short fiction has appeared in literary journals, and she’s a contributing editor and columnist for The Big Thrill and The Thrill Begins, International Thriller Writers’ online magazines. Wendy is the author of the Allison Campbell Mystery Serieshttps://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?source=bk&t=dollycsthoug-20&bm-id=default&l=ktl&linkId=6db0b552b92b6df0cd2b1ea67de5395a&_cb=1493316384476 and the Greenhouse Mystery Serieshttps://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?source=bk&t=dollycsthoug-20&bm-id=default&l=ktl&linkId=a5727350c58150329beb3f87894af7ed&_cb=1493316373785.


Purchase Links: Amazon B&N kobo