Monthly Wrap-Up: October 2017

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Hey Everyone! My birthday month is over and it was good memorable month in life aspect but in reading it was just okay.

This month in reading-

Fantasy / Mythology:

Name Of Ra

Name of Ra (Descendants of Isis #3) by Kelsey Ketch

Stars: 3.75/5

Overall it was interesting but heroine were disappointing.

Fantasy / Futuristic / Dystopian:

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No Vain Loss (No Ordinary Star #3) by M.C. Frank

Stars:4.5/5

Full of action and surprises, twist and turns. Open ended but no hints so I hope author decide to write more to this series.

Romance/New Adult

Steal Me

Steal Me (Haunted Roads #1) by India R. Adams

Stars: 5/5

This was 7th book by India and with this I read all of her books published till. Loved this book. There were good turning points. Little surprises. Freaking rocket speed book. Now I’m patiently waiting for her new release.

Thriller

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Pigeon Blood Red by Ed Duncan

Stars: 4/5

Refreshing, fast paced, gangster thriller. Though it was straight for me, I enjoyed it.

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Social Engineer (Brody Taylor Thrillers #1) by Ian Sutherland

Stars: 5/5

Novella, brilliant, perfectly written with all the required details in just few pages.

Fiction:

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Tell Tale: Short Stories by Jeffrey Archer

Stars: 5/5

This was my first Jeffrey Archer book that started in September and finished in October. It was collection of short stories, I enjoyed this so much that I purchased Clifton Chronicles.

Chick-Lit/ Women Fiction:

Welcome Home

The Welcome Home Diner: A Novel by Peggy Lampman

Stars: 4.5/5

Steady paced, with tasty family and romantic drama, sensitive issues, and and delicious food of diner.

Non-Fiction:

Just around the bend

Just Around The Bend: Más o Menos by Renée Paule

Stars: 5/5

Self-help book. This was second book, sequel to ‘On the other Hand’. Can be read solo but I suggest to read in sequence. I started liking non-fictions after reading Renée Paule’s books. I learned lot from this book. There is something for everyone here.

Short story Reviews:

Saturday #ShortStoryReview: Nile Crossing by Katy Beebe

Saturday Short Story Review: All Aboard The Discovery Express: Open the Flaps and Solve the Mysteries by Emily Hawkins and Tom Adams

Author Interview-

Author Interview: Michael Stott – Author of #TarehChronicle

Author Interview: Cristina Hodgson- Author of A Little of Chantelle Rose

Author Interview: Peggy Lampman, Author of The Welcome Home Diner

Other Blog Posts:

Cover Reveal-

#CoverReveal & #Giveaway: Death Island by Kelsey Ketch

Tags/ Awards-

What Makes You Happy Tag

Thia is how my whole month looked like (with lots of dash/ blanks).

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Overall this month was not that good. I’m 3 books behind but I will read them by first week of September.


How was your reading month? Have you read any of this book or planning to read? Have you completed targeted number of books? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIn case if you don’t know, ‘It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?’ is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Hey everyone! No blabbering and straight to today’s post.

Currently reading–

The King’s Peace by Kevin Hammond

King's peace.jpgThe Kingdom is young and yet it stands in great peril. Dark tales of the unnatural have reached the King’s city. The King is slain in his bed and the storm on the horizon brings black ships closer to the coastal city of Erenon. Nathaniel, a clever thief has stumbled upon a job that brings him to the home of the King when he is slain and Nathaniel is unwillingly dragged into the quest to reach the southern garrison which has gone quiet in recent months. Strange powers are helping and hindering him and the small company of soldiers dispatched to that garrison as war comes to the city.

They will find those horrors that plague the common man, an ancient dragon legend will unravel, and a deception so epic in scale it involves the Gods. The whole world of man and nations who live on the other side of the mountain range known as the Great Divide will come together in a war no one really understands and as the kingdom fights to survive it will face an enemy they know nothing about.

Next I’m reading–

The Razvak Hunter (Razvak Series #1) by Arel B. Grant

Razvak Hunter.jpgBefore…
Aelwyd has worked hard to become strong. As the Fairest One of Vallenthar, her power is formidable. Years of battle honed her into a fearsome warrior who never falters in front of an enemy.
However, there are shadows that when they come, they can swallow you whole.
After a hundred years of praying against it, the minute she walks into the chilling scene of death in front of her, she knows her personal nightmare is back.
He nearly destroyed her once, but she isn’t a victim anymore. This time, she will stop him, or she will die trying.

Now…
Dalbran knows nothing of friends, joy, or mischief. The orphaned ward of a ruthless warrior woman, she’s never showed him love or affection. Instead she fills his days with learning the art of battle, savage teachings of how to survive in their harsh world. Days are filled with pain and exhaustion, but nighttime used to be his own. Even that is now lost, though, for something lurks in the shadows of sleep, clawing at him the moment his eyes close. He tells himself it’s okay, that he can handle it. However daunting the voices may be, however cold the hand that chokes him in the darkness, as long as it stays within the nightmare, everything will be all right.

As long as it stays within the nightmare…

Sleuthing with the Enemy (Unnatural Alliances #2)  by Danielle Hardgrave

Sleuthing with enemy.jpgSomebody just stole a valuable artifact from the Helsen archives, and Annemette Helsen—a very pissed off werewolf—is going to make sure they pay for it.

There’s just one problem: Anna’s only suspect is the arrogant vampire prince, Jonas Weiss. He’s cocky, frustrating, and a little bit sexy. Okay, a lot sexy.

He also claims to be innocent, so the fact that she just broke into his home and attacked him is problematic.

And his price for keeping silent about the whole debacle? Downright devious.


These 3 books I was supposed to finish in October but I couldn’t. No excuses for that and and hopefully I will finish them by next Monday.

What are you reading this week? How was your last week? Have you read any of these books? If so, what do you think about them?? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

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Holiday in Mumbai

I know I’m posting this late. I returned from vacation on 23rd and this week has been non-productive. I was not feeling well and then feeling lazy and then had little cleaning work at home. Trust me even 1 week closed house in India looks terrible. As I said in yesterday’s post I was trying to get into my older schedule but couldn’t. Seeing calendar I’m realizing I’m 3 books behind and had to go back to reading. Today I’m much better and in mood to write post and I so want to get back stats that lost in last 2 weeks.

So what I did in Mumbai. I met my parents… My mom is best cook. She prepared lot of Diwali snacks and carried it to Mumbai for my in-laws and some she packed for me to take to Hyderabad. 

These are Gujarati snacks we cook specially in Diwali (below are pics), so it will sound weird to those who are not familiar with Gujarati food.

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This is called Kochori, I so love this snack.

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Mathiya. She gave me a ready packet that I can fry at home.

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Chorafali. This photo I downloaded from google, I forgot to take pic there.

And also gave so many sweets.

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We did some sightseeing and shopping as well. You will also see decorations and lighting at some places because of Diwali.

This is Upavan lake near my in-laws house.

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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. This pic is not clear, we took it from car so below is clear pic I downloaded from Google.

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CST

This is how this place looks like in day time.

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Sunset at Marine Drive road.

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Bandra–Worli Sea Link

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Gateway of India

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The Taj Hotel near Gateway. (This pic I took when I went Mumbai last year, so I didn’t take pic this time, but we went again here as my brother has not seen these places, Gateway and Taj)

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Book shopping as I said I found this place in Mumbai called Book Street near Fountain Road. I bought many books in cheaper rate. Those bags were heavy. 😉  This is not my best pic so ignore that look on my face.

Of course I didn’t find many books at this place that I thought I would buy (Eg. books by Sarah J. Mass, Leigh Bardugo, Jay Kristoff). All old, almost new and famous books or books by best selling authors were available but not these authors I mentioned. It annoyed me little, so picked whatever I could get. New released books were also not available that I could understand as most of them were second hand.

There is one very good big shop – ‘Kitab Khana‘, not on street but near this place which was very costly as mostly all books were in hardcover there but I could find all books there. And it was awesome.

And this is all. I hope you all enjoyed this post.

Happy Reading! 🙂

 


Saturday Short Story Review: All Aboard The Discovery Express: Open the Flaps and Solve the Mysteries by Emily Hawkins and Tom Adams

Saturday Short Story Review

Hello Everyone! I hope you guys are having cheerful weekend. I know I never made post after after I return from vacation. Honestly I’m feeling very lazy these days. I’m reading less, posting less and not even going through all emails and so I’m missing posts I usually love to read. You won’t believe. I’m reading just 20-30 pages a day. I’m trying to finish this one book after I return from vacation and I just read total 100 pages in 3 days. So guys forgive if I’m being less active, I’m trying to come back to my older schedule and I have to ASAP to even fulfill commitments I have given to authors. And also will write a post on what I did in Mumbai, I bought books as well.

Back to today’s post….


On Saturday Short Story Review, I’m reviewing children fiction, time-traveling adventure- All Aboard The Discovery Express: Open the Flaps and Solve the Mysteries by Emily Hawkins and Tom Adams.

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Published: 07 September 7th 2017 by Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions

Read Date: October 28 2017

Pages: 32

Stars: 4/5

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blurb_edited

Welcome on board the Discovery Express! The year is 1937. Crew of the Discovery Express, Nancy, the geographer and explorer and Pierre, the conductor are solving the clues left by missing Professor Pendleton- leader of the expedition crew and traveling across the world according to the clues he left behind. Visit places of the greatest inventions and learn the how inventor invented them. – Plane, train, car, hot-air balloon and many other related to travel. And help the crew to find missing scientist.

This is time-travel children’s Fiction, a picture book that will take to the history of transport with lots of facts and mystery to solve on every page.


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Lovvvedd that cover! Isn’t that beautiful?

This book was very creative and brilliant. I loved exploring each pages with amazing greatest inventions of the world right from Panama Canal, steam boats, trams to hot air balloon.

The beginning of the book was the best in the book. Nancy, the geographer and explorer and Pierre, the conductor of Discovery Express, took us to the map room on Discovery Express where the inventions were shown on the map of the world with year, place, inventors and little facts on them. With the clues left at the end of each pages all the greatest inventions were introduced with all the details right from its idea to design, facts and figures, mechanism, and how it worked out during that time period with beautiful illustration with language that children of age 9 or more can understand.

See this beautiful picture of steam boat, I simply loved all pictures in this book.Illustrator has done amazing job in this book.

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I loved that hot air balloon invention. The letter inventor wrote to his wife was funny. Details of Panama Canal was amazing to read. Oh and the first invention wheel was also narrated in detail. Many facts described in the book were even new to me. The book is best education material that I sure every school would like to teach through it. All the things were written in beautiful way with colorful pages keeping in mind that children enjoy reading each facts and also help them memorize them.

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My only concern with this book was, small text. I read PDF version and some text I couldn’t read even after zooming. I didn’t try magnifying glass as I don’t have one right now. But because of this issue I couldn’t read few facts written, specifically in last 2 or 3 pages, about airplane, bicycle, jet plane and submarines. So I just hope this drawback is solved in physical copy (it need to be Big copy with readable fonts).

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Overall, it was informative, fun to read, beautifully illustrated quick journey to history of transport. This book was perfect read you wish for your children.


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Author: Emily Hawkins and Tom Adams

Illustrator: Tom Clohosy Cole

Buy Here: Amazon.com / Amazon.in.

*** Note: I received a review copy of this book from publishers via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. ***


What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

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Social Engineer (Brody Taylor Thrillers #1) by Ian Sutherland

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Published: August 4th 2014 by Brookmans Books

Read Date: October 20th 2017

Pages: 87

Stars: 5/5

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Goodreads blurb_edited

Whose side is he on? The drug company curing dementia or the animal rights activists protesting outside?

Brody Taylor loves hacking humans. After all, people are the weakest link in all computer systems. If he’s hired to break into your network, he will find and exploit the weak point. You.

The problem with always manipulating people is that even those closest to you don’t trust you.

And Brody’s just fallen in love with Melanie, a zany, beautiful French animal rights activist. But she’s in love with the character he’s trapped himself in, not the real Brody, social engineer and computer hacker. Can Brody social engineer his way to the truth and save his relationship with Melanie?

A novella that introduces Brody Taylor in a thrilling standalone adventure. At 60 pages, SOCIAL ENGINEER can be read in under two hours!


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Social Engineer, novella of Brody Taylor Thrillers series, is the introduction of main character of the series Brody Taylor and his work. What he does for living, how he carry out his work and justification of his job why it is white hat not black hat with thrilling clever plot and love story. Blurb itself tells what’s in the story.

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Brody, shrewd intelligent social engineer and pentester earned by manipulating people. In simple terms white hat hacker. He lived dangerous life more around hacking and social networking world than real people. He was flawed character, interesting and very much manipulating outside his work area as well. He was first desperate to date someone and once he met his love, Mel, he was desperate to save the relationship. I liked his attempts of rectifying his lies. One thing was very good about him, he never lied to himself and he knew the consequences of his action and lies.

Mel– Brody met on dating site. She was nurse and animal rights campaigner. Honestly she was just okay in the beginning but in the later part I liked her and I respected her decision at the end. I liked how her character played major role in Brody’s life also a first step to this series.

Other characters at HTL, (Pharma company on which he carried out pen test), were written creatively different from each other and their position and nature was depicted very well in just few words.

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All Chapters were divided in present- the pen test presentation on HTL by Brody which was on how he carried out pen test. And in past, that is few weeks back before accepting pen test work on HTL which was about the personal life of Brody, how he first met Mel and what happened from there on. All this past and present connects at climax.

I loved how this story started. How head of R&D at HTL, hired Brody to carry out pen test after receiving call regarding attack by hackers to the project he was working on. The explanation of whole project and company’s position was nice and set a good impression in the book, I knew I’m in for one of the brilliant book. I was instantly hooked to it and the next came justification of title and work of Brody. Just perfect. I honestly didn’t know this much details on cyber securities and penetration testing. I was feeling like I know nothing. This was very amazing and jaw dropping.

I was reading that whole pen test scenes with wide eyed and open mouth. The way he pointed out the hole in the company’s security and staff, how they helped in breaking through the system and psychology behind their act was brilliant. That was very shocking how easily a person can get all the information from social network and by manipulation and how people can’t even see that coming. How exposed this world is through these sites.

I was very impressed with Brody’s ways. This dude was so intelligent in the book. I didn’t guess he could be most wanted among bad hackers, his online identity as a hacker was mind blowing and I liked the precautions he took for himself, his family or persons closer to him. I totally understood the reason he lied to Mel.

Book also showed the view on animal rights. Both from animal rights activist and from Brody’s which was in Pharma Company’s favor in the beginning and yet he was neutral person who didn’t care until certain point. I liked reading both the aspect author showed regarding this topic.

The twist in the book was shocking. I didn’t see it coming. This was the point where all the thoughts I had about characters was switched to 90 degree. The end of the book was perfect. I liked how things ended up. I would love to read more of Brody Taylor’s thrilling world.

One thing I learned from this book is never share anything personal or work related things on social media. I can’t imagine how dangerous that can be.

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Overall, this was brilliant, perfectly written book with all the required details in just few pages. It was quite quick read with unique story. I recommend this to all.


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Author: Ian Sutherland

Read more about author → Here.

Buy Here: Amazon.com

*** Note: I received review copy of this book from author, in exchange for an honest review. ***


What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book or any book by Ian Sutherland? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

Happy Reading! 🙂

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