Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Book Release and Spotlight: Debt by Rachel Dunning

by Rachel Dunning

About the book:

The Debt Collector

I pay my debts, and I expect others to. 

I was raised in the slums of London, I knew nothing of privilege. My father was murdered when I was seventeen. Morty figured my father's passing meant I would automatically take on dad's debts. I refused. 

And I paid for that refusal. 

So did my sister. 

So now I fight. All I know how to do is fight. The best cash is in the states, so that's where I am now. A big fish called Vito came along offering me a "favor" when I arrived.

Another debt.

I paid for that one too. 

I knew Kyla Hensley would be trouble when I met her. But I wanted her. I could see through the falsehood of her wannabe-slutty clothes and her sexy legs. So I chased her. 

Besides, trouble is my middle name. 

Kyla Hensley

I was brought up in privilege, but I lacked everything else. My father is a business tycoon who buys and sells and doesn't care who gets rolled over in the process. 

I never knew my mother, and all I have of her is a photo with a note scrawled on the back in French saying "I'm sorry." The only Female Figure I had growing up is my dad's wife who is a bleach blond with seven boob jobs. We never bonded.

I drink. I party. I meet guys.

But I wasn't always like that. 

I've had a string of lovers in the last few years, the worst and most recent of which was Vince Somerset. My best friend Vera was dating a guy called Rory Cansoom who is the opposite of Vince in so many ways, and yet so the same. 

She and I hit the road for the summer, getting away from the two college psychos and just trying to have some fun. 

But there's a funny thing about trouble, the more you run from it, the more it finds you. 

Which is when I met the Debt Collector. 

It was only supposed to be sex. He made that clear. I made that clear. 

That's all it was supposed to be.

I never expected to fall in love. I never expected to fall so deeply, madly, uncomfortably in love with a man who is wrong, so wrong for me. 

And unbelievably right.

Standalone Novel.

No Cliffhanger.

Excerpt #1


I push my head back against the wall, not sure what’s coming, but not fighting it either. 
“Who are you?” he repeats. 
“I...I don’t know what you mean.”
“I see you at a bar in Texas, then I look for you all over Nashville. And suddenly you’re at my side in a hospital, following me into this warehouse. Who are you?”
“I didn’t follow you into the warehouse. You needed to pick up your truck, and you were stumbling.”
“So I wanted to make sure you were OK.”
And I want you to take my clothes off and I want us to live happily ever after. “That’s it.”
Logan grins, a deadly look for him with his dimples. “Don’t do that,” I say.
“Why not?”
Because you’re beautiful. “Just don’t.”

Excerpt #2


He stops. Lifts his head up again, still smiling. “You’re afraid,” he says.
“Of me.”
“And yet, you’re here.”
I clear my throat. “Y—yes.”
Because I’m an idiot. And you turn me on. And I’m an idiot. And you turn me on.

Excerpt #3


My hand slides over to his jeans unwittingly, rubbing his leg. “I want to kiss you again,” I say.   I want to kiss you because you’ve taken my heart with your words and I need it back. 

Excerpt #4


I have no desire to settle down. 
I have no desire to make Kyla be the last woman I’m ever with.
But, damn it, I’d like to be given a chance to do those things. Does she even feel anything for me?
I know I do.
I feel something. 
Not love. Something else. 
Like I need her.
Like I’d stop breathing without her. 
Like the sun would stop being so bright or the sounds of the world so sweet if she disappeared.

Excerpt #5


She’ll soften me. 
She’ll break me.
But I don’t care.

Excerpt #6


“Tell me for real,” I say. “Tell me what I didn’t guess about you.”
Logan doesn’t answer, and already I’m regretting the question. I know something hurt him, but who am I to ask him about it so soon? I’m breaking my rule, I want to know him, I want to know everything about him.
He shifts his arm so that my head is no longer resting on it, leans forward. 
I did overstep it, but I don’t care. Maybe this is the last time I’ll ever see him again, and I want to get everything I can out of it, not only the sex I’ll demand later. 
He looks down at his feet, then at me. 
He inhales a deep breath, and then he says something to me that will forever change the way I think about the world. He tells me a story that puts my own life in perspective, and makes me question what I’ve held dear, and what’s really important in life. 
He tells me about how he lost his father. And his mother. 
And why he fights.
And why he continues to fight. And what he really sees when he’s in that cage, the hate, the fury, the pain. 
By the end of it all, my world is shattered, the floor is shaking, I have no stability. 
By the end of it, I know one thing, and I know it to my core, my very fiber. And I don’t care if it’s too soon, I believe in intuition, I believe in it more now than ever. 
The thing I know is this:
I love this man. I love him irrevocably. I love him more than I’ve ever loved anyone. 
And I know I will lose him. 
I know it. More intuition. 
But I love his very soul. 

Excerpt #7


I hold on to Logan with all the strength I can muster. 
Somehow, if I let him go, I think I’ll drown.

Excerpt #8


She looks at me with eyes that say something to me. They’re the eyes of someone who’s realized something. Not happy, not excited, not sad. A bit of all of it. I think the word they use for that crazy mixture of emotions is Love.

Purchase your copy

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Destination Spotlight: Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek 

Everest Base Camp trek is the most preferred trekking route in Everest region of Nepal as this trial is a wonderland where you can not only enjoy the views of mountains but feel them too. Base Camp in Nepal is in Southern region of Mount Everest, which has the highest point of 5545 meters (Kalapathar). One of the primary goals of an Everest journey treks is the touching highest peak Mt. Everest, receiving blessing from monasteries, enjoying the hospitality from Sherpa people. Trekking to the base camp of Everest also provides us an opportunity to embark on an epic journey that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay set off to in 1953. But nothing beats the thrill and sense of accomplishment that grips travelers on seeing the power and grace of the mighty Everest up close.

You can fly to Lukla and then trek, however the trek to Lukla is also possible from Jiri which takes about 5 days more to reach Lukla. The trial goes via Namche Bazar following the Dudh Koshi, and then Dingboche. Trek to Everest Base Camp offers you to enjoy the beauty of majestic peaks like Mt Everest, Mt. Lhotse , Mt Makalu and Mt Cho Oyu.

Trip Itinerary:-
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu, Transfer to Hotel, O/N Hotel
Day 02: Kathmandu - City tour and preparation for trekking, O/N Hotel
Day 03: Kathmandu flight to Lukla (2840m) and trek to Phakding 2640m), 4 hours, O/N Lodge
Day 04: Phakding trek to Namche bazaar (3440m), 6 hours, O/N Lodge
Day 05: Namche Bazaar - rest day for acclimatization, O/N Lodge
Day 06: Namche Bazaar trekking to Tyangboche, (3860m), 5 hours, O/N Lodge
Day 07: Tyangboche trek to Dingboche, (4350m), 6 hours, O/N Lodge
Day 08: Dingboche – Acclimatization day, O/N Lodge
Day 09: Dingboche trek to Lobuche (4925m), 5 hours O/N Lodge
Day 10: Lobuche trek to Gorakshep (5170m) continues trek EBC (5370m) return to Gorakshep, 7/8 hours, O/N Lodge
Day 11: Gorakshep climb  Kalapathar (5545m) trek to Pongboche 7 hours, O/N Lodge
Day 12: Pongboche trek to Namche 6 hours, O/N Lodge
Day 13: Namche trek to Lukla 6 hours, O/N Lodge
Day 14: Lukla flight to Kathmandu, O/N Hotel
Day 15: Departure Day

Cost for the trip is fixed, USD 1370 per person. The group must have 2 minimum person and 18 maximum. Interested travel agent can directly contact operator at for discount. 

Cost Includes:
- All the required airport and hotel transfers by tourist jeep. 
- Everest region trekking permits and other essential official paper works. 
- All the monasteries and Temple entrance fees during the trekking
- Two nights hotel accommodation in Kathmandu city inclusive bed and breakfast. 
- Lodges accommodation and full board menu meals during 11 days trek.   
- Both way domestic airfares and airport taxes. 
- An experienced English speaking trekking guide.
- Supporting porter for your luggage. (1 porter for two people). 
- Everest region trekking route map, company rain protection kit bag for your luggage. 
- First aid medical kit box. 
- All Official taxes and service charge.

Cost does not includes:-
- International airfares.
- Any alcoholic beverages and your personal expenses such as laundry bill, bar bills, phone calls etc.
- Your travel insurance. 
- Nepal visa which can be obtained at airport upon your arrival. 

Contact Operator Details: 
Glorious Himalaya Trekking Pvt. Ltd. 
POB 8349, Kathmandu, Nepal
Contact : +977-9843760242
Email : 
Web : 

** this post is a free promotion.
** Bookingly Yours is not connected with the tour operator.

Guest Author: Philip Brown

The Origins of Light Runner

First of all, I’d like to thank Jenai and her wonderful blog for inviting me as a guest.

When I began writing Light Runner several years ago, the first scene I created was one that ended up on the cutting room floor. Call it, “Dara meets Vadoma 1.0.” 

Vadoma is an elderly Tarot card reader who lives in the apartment right below Dara’s. In Dara’s mind, she’s just a mean old lady who hates skateboarding teens. However, Vadoma comes to Dara’s aid when Dara injures her knee in a skateboarding accident. The scene I wrote (and cut) was one in which Vadoma does a one card Tarot reading for Dara. Dara turns over one card and Vadoma interprets it in the context of the moment. It turns out to be the Temperance card. In the particular deck I was using as a basis for this scene, the card shows a winged girl standing next to a river pouring water from one cup into another, like she’s trying to even out the liquid portions. It symbolizes moderation and balance. It also represents lack of prejudice, and Dara has certainly stereotyped Vadoma as a judgmental grey-haired lady.

Vadoma looks from the Tarot card to Dara’s injured knee and says, “You must learn balance.” I liked the scene, but had to part with it when I couldn’t find a way to make it serve the plot. However, I wrote a longer Tarot scene for Vadoma and Dara, in which the three cards she turns over carry a great deal of foreboding.

This scene rang true for my own life. I, too, was a rebel who had to learn balance. And I found that the ones I learned from the best were older people—Vadomas or the male equivalent—who came into my life. I wasn’t very good at heeding advice from my own parents. But when life counsel was offered by a kind person who was gentle and old enough to bear some of life’s scars, I accepted it. It seemed like an older wise man or woman always stepped into my life when I was most in need of support and guidance.

The main concept for Light Runner—an armband that can heal wounds—came to me after I’d already worked on the book for at least two years. It had gone through several drafts and I’d workshopped it with a writing group. However, I knew the story lacked something essential. It started out as a YA mystery/thriller, not a fantasy, but something kept tugging me in the direction of fantasy, a genre I’ve always loved. I resisted the pull, but finally had to let go and allow something fantastic enter the story, let it become what it could be. Putting a healing armband in the hands of a teenage girl changed everything. It opened the story up to a whole new range of possibilities that weren’t there when it was grounded solely in the mystery genre. 

I’ve got some background in astrology. Vedic astrology (which originated in India, but has become increasingly popular in the West) prescribes gems for healing or warding off the malefic influences of the planets. Dara’s healing armband—the Jyotisha—came out of that, although the one I created in the book has powers far beyond what one might expect from healing gems.

* * *

Light Runner 
by Philip Brown

Sixteen-year-old Dara Adengard would rather read graphic novels than do her homework and prefers the freedom of skateboarding to the restrictions of life with her military father. Stung by the recent death of her mother, Dara conceals her mom’s picture under a square of grip tape on her skateboard. But no matter how much Dara tries to keep a foothold on the past, she can’t ride away from her own destiny.

One evening, she discovers a silver and gold armlet with mysterious powers in the shadowy water of the swimming pool. Forged from an ancient meteorite metal, it possesses the power to heal or wound. When Dara holds it, it emits a light that seems to have been ignited by a star’s ray. Moments later, she is stunned to find that someone’s broken into her apartment, her father has vanished, and a dead body lies sprawled in the courtyard.

Evading the police, Dara escapes on a perilous quest for her father, begins to uncover her mother’s hidden past, and starts to realize the shocking truth about herself.

Purchase your copy

About the author: 

Philip Brown, YA contemporary fantasy author, is motivated by the power of words to change lives. He teaches high school and is inspired by his students, many of whom struggle to overcome difficult social and personal issues. “The classroom,” he says, “is a place filled with brilliant and amazing stories.”

Before he began writing fiction, Philip wrote a couple of astrology books. Cosmic Trends was published by Llewellyn Worldwide in 2006 and was a finalist for the Coalition of Visionary Resources Award. His widely read AstroFutureTrends blog was turned into the book, On the Cusp: Astrological Reflections from the Threshold.

Follow Philip Brown

Monday, March 28, 2016

Book Review: Loving Ellie by Lindsey Brookes

Loving Ellie
by Lindsey Brookes

Kindle Edition
File Size: 2349 KB
Print Length: 273 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1494785072
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Ratings: ★ ★ ★   

My thoughts:

Girl got pregnant by a friend.
Friend is Boy's younger brother.
Girl is broken, wants to give up baby for adoption. 
Boy wants to adopt the baby because baby is his only living relative.
Girl doesn't want Boy to adopt because she is broken. 

Too many emotions reading the story: good, sweet, intense to meh. It was good, a sweet story of finding true love the second time for  Lucas, first for Ellie. Points for Lucas for being caring, sweet, and how he loves his brother, he truly got me there. Meh, I was constantly bored and annoyed reading Ellie's struggle to accept people loving her. You know that kind of friend that's always so negative? *sigh* Her story is predictably monotonous. 

I survived 'Loving Ellie' because of Blaine and Victoria. I was deeply interested, so absorbed in their story that I actually forgot that the book is about Lucas and Ellie. I don't understand why the author can write excellent story for minor characters but not for the major ones? 

About the book:

Ellie Sanders is pregnant and alone. Carrying a child she’d conceived the one and only time she’d lain with her closest friend, Jarrett Tanner. A man she’d agreed to marry for the sake of their child. A man she’d loved, but not as he’d deserved. And now he was gone. 

Lucas Tanner returns home to settle his younger brother Jarrett’s estate only to discover his brother left behind a very pregnant fiancĂ©e. Having lost his own wife and their baby she’d been carrying years before, he’s bound and determined to stick around and make sure Ellie’s child makes it safely into the world. Even if it means facing the ghosts of his past. 

Struggling financially and emotionally, Ellie is torn between keeping her baby and giving it up for adoption. She wants to give her child the chance she never had - to be raised by two loving parents. If only she could make Lucas understand. And, if only she wasn’t falling for a man with no heart left to give. 

Lucas finds himself wanting more. Wanting Ellie. But what if he gives in to his deepening feelings and loses her, too? 

One fears abandonment. The other fears loss. Can Ellie and Lucas put their painful pasts behind them and finally find true happiness? Or are the emotional walls they’ve built up around their hearts too strong to tear down? 

About the author:

Romance author Lindsey Brookes is a four-time RWA Golden Heart finalist as well as a past American Title III finalist and winner of Harlequin's Great American Romance Novel contest. She writes for Kensington Publishing, Amazon Publishing, and has indie-pubbed several of her young adult and adult contemporary romances. She is represented by Michelle Grajkowski with 3 Seas Literary Agency. 

Check out her website:

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Book on sale for $0.99: A Gentleman's Surrender by Mariel Grey

A Gentleman's Surrender
by Mariel Grey

About the book:

Call her a romantic--or a fool, Lady Monique Cathdon is determined to marry for love. After watching her parents tolerate an arranged betrothal, life seems too short to be wasted on keeping up appearances.

After all, what's the point of having a heart if one refuses to follow it?

With a smile the devil himself might be proud of, James Stanton is not what her mother would call a matrimonial prospect. Still, there's something about the young man that sends Lady Monique's heart thumping around her chest, and silences her voice of reason.

Unfortunately for Lady Monique, the stakes are high, and young ladies of the ton make for very poor gamblers. Especially when James Stanton is on the hunt for revenge, and won't let an innocent woman--or his own passionate desires--get in the way of righting past wrongs.

4-star book review HERE

Purchase your copy

Free Kindle Download: Impulse by E.B. Walters

(Infinitus Billionaire Book 1)
by E.B. Walters

About the book:

**This romance novel contains explicit contents and it's not advised for readers under 18** This is a 2-part book. Book 2 is available for purchase.

He has tradition ingrained in him…

She lives for the moment…

Will they find a common ground?

Lex Fitzgerald is not your average billionaire. He leads a double life as the conscientious head of his family and the pleasure-seeking rogue who parties hard and pushes the limits in and out of the bedroom. His two worlds are about to collide because of one woman, Jillian Finnegan.

Lex needs a secret weapon to defeat a competitor and finds it in Jillian Finnegan. He has no intention of letting her potty mouth, her crazy lifestyle, or her eccentric family get in his way. So when he makes her an offer, he expects her to accept. However, sparks start to fly when Jillian gives him a counteroffer and dares him to refuse. Has Lex finally met his match?

Let the seduction begin.

Download Free Kindle

Free Kindle Download: Love You, Always by Cristin Cooper

Love You, Always: 
Always Series Book 1
by Cristin Cooper

About the book:

This is the first book in the series but can be read as a stand alone. No cliffhangers and has a HEA. 

Caring for her three children had been Anna’s only priority in the aftermath of losing the man she’d loved since they were seventeen years old. Forced to move forward with her life, Anna was reeling as she enrolled in college. There she made a friend who had been there and done that, hired a sexy younger man to tutor her in math, who also taught her how to have fun again, and she met a man to love her, whether she wanted him to or not. The lessons in life Anna received over her first year of college gave her the strength to live again.

Download Free Kindle

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Guest Author: Barbara Venkataraman


Remember the last time you sneezed? There was that little itch that sent your nose into high alert. This could be the big one, you think, a real head-bobber, or it could be a tiny little nothing sneeze. Or it could be a false alarm. You just never know what to expect. There's the build-up, then the sneeze and, finally, the feeling of relief. And then it's over, or at least you hope so. I always sneeze three times in a row, but that's just my thing, a little author trivia.

So, how is a sneeze like reading a mystery? Well, I'm glad you asked.  Like a sneeze, the plot of a mystery starts out slowly, the tension gradually builds while the reader wonders, is something about to happen? Is this a clue? Is this a major plot development? Or is it a fake-out?  For every build-up of tension in a mystery, there must be a release afterwards, a resolution to the problem and then a period of low-tension. In most books, this pattern will happen many times before the final resolution (the big sneeze!) which signals the end of the story.

Without conflict, there is no story, of course, so the writer wants to keep putting the characters in dangerous or stressful situations. A good writer keeps the reader on edge by dangling the prize in front of the protagonist and then snatching it away at the last minute, or by throwing roadblocks in the way. The author has to be subtle about it, so the obstacles vary constantly. Maybe the protagonist loses faith in herself, or is physically detained. Maybe someone she cares about has a crisis and she has to stop what she's doing to offer help. Or maybe she's sent on a wild goose chase or follows the wrong lead. She may wind up in physical danger, or some other kind of trouble.  

Here's an example of a best-selling mystery plot. The novel begins with the murder of a beautiful prosecutor in her apartment. The protagonist, also a prosecutor, was her co-worker, and is assigned the case. Nobody knows that the victim was the protagonist's former lover (raising the stakes). The protagonist's boss is up for re-election and the murder of one of his people is embarrassing. If he loses the election, the protagonist loses his job (raising the stakes some more). The election is lost and suddenly the protagonist finds himself accused of the murder. There's lots of evidence to implicate him: calls made from his home to hers the night of the murder, a glass with his fingerprints on it, carpet fibers, etc. The courtroom drama raises the tension even further; taking many turns along the way. But the expert testimony proves unreliable. The protagonist learns the judge had a relationship with the victim and also that the judge, the victim and his former boss all took bribes from suspects. A crucial piece of evidence for the prosecution disappears and the judge dismisses the case for lack of evidence. 

But the reader still doesn't know who killed the prosecutor! Was it the protagonist? He's the narrator, but is he reliable? Yes, he is, and he figures out who murdered his former lover…dun dun dun! It was his angry, betrayed wife who tried to frame him. Recognize the plot? It's Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow.

The challenge for the mystery writer is how to build the tension to a crescendo and timing is everything. Think about that horror movie trick where the girl (and the audience) is terrified because we know something bad is about to happen. We're on the edge of our seats, our hearts are racing, and, suddenly, something scary jumps out at the girl--and it's just a cat. Everyone lets down their guard, shakes off the nervous tension and--WHAM--the bad guy/monster/psycho/alien then attacks the girl. That twist worked great the first time we saw it, but now we've come to expect it. 

In my Jamie Quinn mystery series, Jamie is a reluctant family lawyer who keeps finding herself involved in murder cases. In Death by Didgeridoo, her disabled cousin is accused of murdering his music teacher; in The Case of the Killer Divorce, Jamie's client is accused of murdering her husband, and in Peril in the Park, Jamie and her boyfriend are in danger from an evil jester who has already murdered one person. The tension rises and falls in each book while Jamie tries to figure out what's really going on, while, at the same time, there are mysteries to solve in her personal life. Because these books are part of a series, the tension isn't completely resolved at the end of each book. Certain story lines continue through to the next book and, in fact, each book ends with the first chapter of the next book as a teaser. 

Now, I think you understand how a good mystery can be just like a sneeze. And who doesn't like a good sneeze? It can be energizing and unexpected. But, at all costs, you want to avoid books which don't have tension; the kind that go on and on, the ones you wish would hurry up and end already. They are like having the hiccups and nobody wants those! 

Purchase your copy


Monday, March 21, 2016

Recommended Holy Week Destinations - Padre Pio / Regina RICA

Blogger is still on vacation leave. Been busy with kids' school-related stuff and just being a full time mom and wifey, reading and blogging definitely had to take a back seat. 

We've also been visiting churches these days. I think it is now time for my kids (10 and 6 yo) to join me and my husband in practicing our Catholic faith. Although we're praying as a family and I read them Bible stories on a daily basis, I believe seeing these sacred places would give them the opportunity to explore their own faith.

Padre Pio Church - Libis, Quezon City
Eulogio Rodriguez Jr. Ave, Quezon City

This is the nearest Padre Pio church to us so this is where we usually go to hear Sunday mass. 

Mass - Daily

Padre Pio Church - Rizal
Sitio Balimbing, Tanay, Rizal

Tanay is only an hour drive from our place (Angono). If you want to hear mass, visit this chapel only on Thursdays (not sure about the time, sorry). 

They're usually closed on Sundays (see closed chapel door!).  During Holy Week, chapel is open the whole week.

View from the souvenir shop.

Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia (RICA)
Marikina-Infanta Highway, Tanay, Rizal

Another place recommended to visit while in Tanay is the Regina RICA pilgrim site. 

Our Lady on Top of the Hill. 

The (Sacred) trail going up from the parking lot, well it will take you about thirty minutes (or more if you have small kids with you). If you don't want to go up on foot, you may take the shuttle - but you have to wait as there is only one going up and down the hill.

Dress code - you cannot be allowed to go up and inside Our Lady if you are wearing shorts, short skirts, sleeveless, etc. 

Church at the foot of the hill. Closed every Tuesday.

Padre Pio Shrine - Batangas
Lipa Road, Sto. Tomas, Batangas

The farthest, three to four hours from Manila. We were not able to take enough pictures as the place was under construction during our visit in December 2015. 

We might be in Pangasinan to visit my brother's family this weekend. If everyone's okay to go, we plan to explore Manaoag and probably some more places north. How about you? What are your plans this week? 

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