Book review – Morwen Cottage by LeAnn L. Morgan

I received a copy of this novel by the author for an honest review.

Morwen Cottage by LeAnn L Morgan
241 pages.
Published December 27th 2017 by Author House
Genres: Romance / Mystery

I give it ☆☆☆/5 stars.

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Plot : Rowena has just divorced from her dumb husband William. While going through a pile of papers she comes across an inheritance from her great aunt Maude. The Morwen Cottage, located in Cornwall. Surprised at this turn of events, she decides to visit the property. Turns out that its situated in a beautiful place, and the residents there are doubly sweet. She quickly befriends her neighbor Mr. McGreevy, who makes her eat yummy dishes whenever she is in. To help her out with the cottage, she has Daisy and Simon who are again, super helpful and become like a family in just a matter of days. And then there is this handsome doc, Harry Reader, who she loses her heart to. Now while she is there, setting up her place, also wondering why she hasn’t had her periods in past few months, two women are murdered to everyone’s shock. Its unnerving and unsettling for everyone. And under suspicion is Dr. Reader too. What is happening? Who is killing these girls? Readers will find out when they read this novel.

My Thoughts: This was my first read from LeAnn L. Morgan. To be honest, I was attracted to this book due to the words, Cottage on the moors, and Murders. But I found both of them lacking. This book was 23% murder mystery, 23% romance, and rest of it was only meeting with people, knowing them, speaking sweetly and praising ALL the Time. Like literally. It was very clear that this book is the first attempt by the author. The book started off well, but in between, and till the end, it was just empty conversations. I was looking for some gripping mystery but that was missing and disappointed me to some extent. AND, to top it all, Rowena delivers a baby, without anywhere being mentioned about her pregnancy. I was expecting more of sensible plot twists but all I got was a big family reunion kinds feeling that at some point of time was a turn off for me.

This book was a decent try from the author but she really needs a better editor, and soon. To all the readers who love a quick finish light romantic mystery should go for this one.

Thank you to Booktasters on Twitter (@BookTasters) for providing me the introduction to this book. Thank you to author for providing me with a review copy!

The Beijing Mummies – My review

Published: October 11th 2017 by Partridge India

Purchased: Received free from the author in exchange for an honest review

I give it ☆☆/5 stars.

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Review:

This is the fifth book in the The Beijing Family series by author Gina Tang.

This novel is about a boy who returns to his family and works as a museum curator meanwhile. The museum has mummies too and somehow it happens that they begin coming alive, and they curse too. His family is affected and if he doesn’t act fast to solve this mystery, they may die.

I could not relate to this book. It started off well though, and of course I was very excited to read it. The plot looked very interesting and full of thrill, but it could not keep me hooked as I expected. It’s possible that the story was not for readers like me who prefer more creepiness and less comic. I confess that I am picky too.

The characters could have been more rich and deep, and the story some more engaging.

I feel this book would definitely appeal to readers who love very light reads.

 

 

Tracking our Happiness

So the other day I attended a comedy show by a famous comedian. When he was about to conclude the show, he made the following statement. “Till the time I keep making jokes, you would keep laughing, the moment I stop joking, you guys would stop laughing. What after that? You‘ll go back to your set of emotions. The ones that control you throughout the day and the very ones that make you act in a certain manner.

It was true that we went to see his show because we needed a good laugh. And upon contemplating on his words, I also realised the extent to which we depend on others for our laughter and happiness. That we are not really happy within ourselves. We need to justify the money that we pay to feel that happiness, that ray of hope in our life. Why is it that we have no control over our own emotions, that they are tied to all things external?

Because we give too much credit to what’s out there, displayed in front of us, that is pleasing to our eyes and mind at that moment. Because we don’t really trust our inner being and therefore don’t really make any efforts to nurture it. I agree that one cannot keep smiling or laughing the whole time in order to be happy but there can be a sense of fulfillment within oneself that keeps us calm and content.

Feeling happy when things go our way and feeling annoyed, unhappy in situations that are opposite, that’s quite normal. But have you ever noticed that those feelings of annoyance linger on for too long as compared to the happy ones? That does happen because we ponder on the bad stuff in our life too much than the good stuff. Of course the bad teaches us a lot but when we see the lesson, mustn’t we act upon staying happy again?

Sadness has its own importance, but it should be focused upon a little less than all the happiness within us. You see, it‘s important to be aware of all the positivity, satisfaction, cheerfulness that we have in ourselves. It would do us more of good to channel that positivity so that when we get sad, we are able to overcome easily.

It‘s easy to continue being sad, but if we are used to being happy, it gets easier being happy and calm even in bad situations. A person can stay happy by following a whole lot of ideas, the most important being lowering the expectations and focusing on one’s work and responsibilities.

Other more important ways include focusing on physical and mental health, spending time with people who make us happy, focussing on improving ourselves instead of paying too much attention on flaws of others, evaluating our successes vs our peace of mind, learning to let go of unhappy thoughts, awakening the self spiritually by meditating, stay grateful. Tracking our happiness on regular basis is important.

Happiness brings success and prosperity, not only in terms of money but within you as a person as well. Strive to be happy as and how you can afford to be. It may take time in the beginning but if you make it a practice to stay happy, you sure will find it within you at all times.

Happy New Year to the Old You.

New Year is just round the corner and people have been bubbling with a false sense of excitement about the same. No one knows what the new year is going to bring, though everyone knows thats it’s going to be the same, lest they themselves change for good or for bad. What is it about New Year that makes people so happy? I never get that, perhaps because I am sort of an egalitarian who advocates the importance of bad stuff in life as much as the good, probably because for me time isn’t measured by years or months, or probably because I don’t bother about passing of time or change of year since it’s just going to be one more year down from our lives, and that we are going to die anyway.

So instead of counting the years, why don’t people focus on being happy in general. I know its not necessary to be happy all the time, but why not focus on one’s healthy mental state instead of compulsorily finding joy within all things materialistic. New Year’s Eve, Ho Ho Ho! People get another reason to party, ha! They believe drowning the bad of 2017 on 31st Dec will make way for good in 2018, which is true to some extent but not really. It’s like you are putting all your expectations on the next year instead of working on them on your own.

Why is partying and creating an animal-istic ruckus at dance clubs and places alike considered a happening and cool way to celebrate the onslaught of new year, but staying cozy in one’s home, surrounded by family or friends, or just books and good food considered boring? Feels like people are pressurizing themselves a little too much to stay trendy, without even knowing it. They think of it as some kinda life changing event, or as if they’ll get better-er with the coming year. Ha!

 

So what if you have no plans on 31st Dec, so what if you plan to sleep in early and switch off your phones and other modes of communication? It’s wayy better than wasting the night away losing your senses with the help of cute stuff.

Anyways, enjoy all you want but don’t forget that partying away last year’s blues will not change anything at all for you in the coming year. I don’t mean to be negative but cant be stupidly positive. I am bored of 2018 already. Cheers!

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Healthy Life, Happy Life

There are numerous definitions of being healthy. It must be something else for you, and something different for me. In this post you’ll get to know what I feel is important for being healthy, as I am joining Saffola #ApneTareekeSeHealthy initiative and sharing my ways of being healthy in association with BlogAdda. Its very easy to indulge in a little bit of (read that as heaps of) finger licking food, and which is usually unhealthy. Though I agree that with current lifestyle, its tough to maintain our healthy quota, but its not entirely impossible. I have been through the stage where my weight and health rpobles became a point of concern for me. When your clothes don’t fit you anymore and your tummy bulges out, when you face health issues, cant even walk properly, and you prefer to cover yourself with loose or ill fitting dressing, it is considered a wake up call.. But why wait for that to happen to you?

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In my journey to achieve the desired health status that I always wanted, I learnt that following viewpoints are essential for a healthy living. Read on to know more:

Healthy diet: Eating several times a day, small portions every time, instead of eating heavily two-three times. Drinking lots of water. Fibrous food is always good for your health, so even if I don’t like them much, I do include fruits, lentils and dry fruits in my diet.

Workout: Working out not only keeps you physically fit, it also helps keep you stay mentally calm and focused. By the end of a rigorous workout, when you come out feeling satisfied, do notice that you’ll be able to focus on better things in life.

Hard work and discipline: Healthy life needs hard work, initially, before it’s embedded in your system, then of course it becomes your lifestyle. But to reach there, I had to work really hard, and it paid off. Since I am not a morning person and love spicy food, it was a real challenge for me to wake up early every morning, reduce my spice and oil intake and workout, strictly. I realized that giving up is so easy. But every result needs action, so act instead of lamenting on your unhealthy state.

Confidence & belief in self: When you start seeing the results, you automatically gain confidence, the same happened with me. It requires patience, and self belief to reach one’s goals. Nothing happens overnight. Moreover, stay happy. Your good health is directly proportional to your happiness level. Do  more of what keeps you content and cheerful, don’t avoid your hobbies due to lack of time or laziness.

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I also go for morning walks/run when I don’t feel like going to the gym at times. I am now a morning person :). Keeps me energetic the whole day. In office too, I walk around for a few mins, since sitting all day makes me quite dull. Taking my dinner early, no matter what, is something that helps immensely with maintaining good health.

There are no two thoughts about the fact that we are the mentors of our own health. Saffola is giving us good reasons to stay and live a healthy life. Follow some easy healthy lifestyle habits and keep yourself fit. You health must be of utmost priority for you. If YOU are healthy, so your world would be.

Watch this video to get an insight in healthy living.

Bhrigu Mahesh PhD: The Return of Damayanti – My review

Published: March 15th 2017 by Partridge India

Purchased: Received free from the author in exchange for an honest review

I give it ☆☆☆☆/5 stars.

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Review:

This is the second book by the author Nisha Singh. Though I haven’t read the first one, this one came as a pleasant surprise to me. Detective Novels are my favorites and I could not lose any opportunity to let go of this one. I received the book from Blogadda as part of their Book Reviewer’s program. Let me put down my review for the same.

Bhrigu Mahesh, an ex-policeman turned private detective, is visited by Natraj Bhakti, who resides at Krishna Dwar. This retired clerk is deeply disturbed by the phantom of his dead wife, Damyanti, hence calls for help from Bhrigu. Bhrigu and his right hand, Sutte, travel to his ancestral home to solve the mystery and to save the man from this ghost. Even after his arrival upon the scene, the haunting continues. As Bhrigu and Sutte work to untangle the mystery, a lot of secrets come to light and a woman in Bhakti’s family is murdered as well. The case progresses, but not without throwing a few challenges in Bhrigu’s way. Is there a ghost? Who killed Bhakti’s sister? It’s worth knowing if he is able to find out or not.

Now, coming to the specifics of the novel, the plot was brilliant, clear and thorough. The characters are been given appropriate detailing, and a new reader wont feel that its the second book  by Singh. The Sherlock and Watson-sque touch adds to the whole detective-mystery novel feel, with the brilliant, sharp Bhrigu, just like Sherlock and his oppo, jovial and compulsive wise-cracker, Sutte acting as Watson, keeping the readers hooked till the end. Add in the other characters like Manjunath, Bhakti’s good for nothing brother, his sharp tongued wife Premkala, and a ‘learned Pandit’ who we realize doesn’t likes being in a debate about his impractical belief system. We thriller lovers expect the book to be enjoyable from start to end in one go, and I must say, save the pace of the story, that was a little lax, the book passed with flying colors. The language is free flowing, engrossing and entertaining.

What I loved-

Bhrigu’s ways to get the true facts out of anyone, anything

Bhrigu and Sutte’s cute banter

Depicting the complexities of a marriage, materialism and relationships

Portrayal of society and how it’s adept in manipulating a sane man’s mind

Savita, who acts a token of women empowerment in the novel

Final verdict-

Nisha spaces out the characters and plot very nicely. If you are a mystery fan, then this book is the one for you. I would recommend this book to all those who understand and would like to grasp some more of the various aspects of our living culture and the aspects surrounding it. A very interesting read, and should be enjoyed at night or sitting at the window, with rain pouring sown and a mug of hot chocolate.