Things I didn’t know I needed this summer

1.  To be loved

By ME. Discover my self again. Realise I’m a hoot with a heart. I spend so much time being hard on myself and finding faults or seeking to do better that I often forget I’m doing my best, I deserve some rest and it’s okay, IT IS OKAY, to not be perfect all of the time. More importantly, I need no one’s validation nor adulation to prove I am lovable. This summer I want me to be my favourite person to get to know and hang out with.

2.  Be free

Of my own expectations. The shackles holding me back are of my own mind’s construct. The disappointments I repeatedly face, are due to my own high bars. I need to take a step back, reassess my goals, breathe free and rise above. What I can dream today, I can achieve tomorrow. 

3.  Be mindful

More mindful. Of what I allow to touch my soul. Be it negativity, junk food, never-ending cheat days, toxic relationship, toxic masculinity. Nothing should have the power to steal the wind beneath my wings. I am what I allow myself to be. I allow what I feel for. What feels right. What makes me feel right, in mind and in body. Wellness over fitness, mindfulness over mental space. 

4.  Be greedy

To go for what I know I deserve and have earned. To not submit before others, to no longer bow or kowtow. To have no regard for what others will think of me. Need, yearn and pine for my heart’s deepest desire and then go ahead and grab it with both hands. Make no apologies, take no prisoners. I owe no one my successes, just like my failures are my own. 

5.  Be quiet

The world in technicolour is a loud, sleepless place. There’s no rest for the weary. A thousand things go on my mind at any given point of time. A hundred voices are aimed at me every second of every day. Some I agree with, most I don’t. Some make me shout, some scream, some screech and some cringe. But before giving in to my inner voice, I should take a pause. AND LISTEN. Not just hear. Imbibe. Understand what’s happening around me, where it’s stemming from and, more importantly, where it’s headed towards. Analyze. For a moment, just be quiet so I can be loved, free, mindful and greedy while happily co-existing. 

 

What did you not know you needed this summer? Tell me, I am listening. Try me, I will be mindful. Follow me, for I’ll let you partake of my greed, love yourself, as I am going to love us both.

Advertisements

Why A Poet #10

And in that very moment

I learnt

What it meant

To grow up

You see

It comprises

A lot of unspoken words

A few unkept promises

A dozen unshed tears

Some silent screams

And a hope

The hope

That life goes on

And in the end

It’ll all make sense

Even if it doesn’t

It’ll be a worthwhile ride

For sometimes

The journey

Is its own reward

And, hence,

I’ve decided

To write some more.

#BookReview : Stealing Vengeance by Kaylea Cross

In Norse mythology, valkyrie (/vælˈkɪəri, –ˈkri, vɑːl-, ˈvælkəri/;[1] from Old Norse valkyrja “chooser of the slain”) is one of a host of female figures who choose those who may die in battle and those who may live. More recently, in the Marvel Universe, we saw them as Asgard’s mighty horde of female warriors. Needless to say, being a female and a feminist to boot, I’ve always been intrigued by this term (of course, the Tom Cruise movie on the Valkyrie protocol on the death of Hitler was another major factor). But FEMALE WARRIORS CHOOSING WHO LIVES AND WHO DIES, what’s not to love!

Thus, when I was approached by Kaylea Cross’s publicists to review her latest offering, Stealing Vengeance, about a top secret government program turning orphan girls into elite spies, very fittingly called the Valkyrie, I was immediately hooked. I put on my reading glasses and dived into a world of government conspiracies, a female force to be reckoned with, bodies dropping like flies, spying and counter spying, bloodthirst, betrayal and of course, righteous vengeance.

My love for Sir Ian Fleming, Dame Agatha Christie, Arthur Hailey, Alistair McLean and their ilk have upped my standards for thrillers, spies and whodunnits. I am pleased to report that Stealing Vengeance checks all the boxes in my strict list of ‘things that will make me read every book in this series’.

Kaylea Cross effortlessly weaves a crisp tale of pain and love interspersed with a deadly hunt where the best laid plans go awry and the best of intentions may be misguided. She makes us love the Valkyrie, despite the nature of their work, and loathe the Government for ‘creating’ them out of innocent children in the most brutal of ways for their self-serving purpose. And once their dirty task was done, the elite became dispensable. Left to fend for themselves, a saga of sisterhood, loyalty and romance is lived by these incredible women. Not to mention, I really like how the women take centre stage here despite the presence of strong, powerful men and how their characters are so beautifully depicted that they are in awe of these women rather than nursing bruised egos or asserting male dominance while saving damsels in distress. All in all, Stealing Vengeance makes me want to read all the previous titles in the main series while awaiting the sequel to come out. Ms. Cross, I urge you to hurry.

I don’t usually give ratings but I would go out on a limb and give this one 4.5/5 as it stands out amongst its genre. However, you don’t just have to take my word for it – here’s a sneak peak into the book for your eyes only!

Book Blurb:

She’s an expert at getting into places she doesn’t belong.

The government created Megan, transforming her into a Valkyrie—a deadly operative only whispered about in certain circles. They took everything from her and made her into a weapon. Now someone is leaking secret information about her sisters-in-arms, betraying them for money. Loyal Unto Death is the Valkyrie motto. So when Megan is recruited to find who leaked the files, she takes the high-risk assignment. Even if it means working with the man who betrayed her trust long ago. Even if it means giving her life. Because she’ll do whatever it takes to find justice.

But this is one situation she can’t escape from on her own.

Tyler Bergstrom never forgot the resourceful woman who escaped during the toughest phase of SERE school. So when he learns the stunning truth about her and his unwitting part in her past, he volunteers to work alongside Megan for a chance at redemption. Except she doesn’t want a partner. Doesn’t want to let anyone into her life, including him—hell, especially him. Yet whether she likes it or not, for this mission they’re partners. Now it’s a race against the clock to bring down the shadowy figure targeting Valkyries. But the threat goes deeper than they ever imagined. No one is safe. And if they can’t overcome the past and learn to trust each other, they’re both dead.

Today we are celebrating the release of a brand new romantic suspense title from Kaylea Cross. STEALING VENGEANCE is available now, and you will not want to miss this series! Be sure to follow Kaylea for exclusive updates about the book and the brand new Vengeance series.

Join Kaylea’s Reader Group for Exclusive News!

 

Stealing Vengeance (Vengeance Series, #1)

Available Now

Amazon | Apple | Kobo | Nook

Purchase in Paperback

Add the book to Goodreads

PREORDER THE NEXT BOOK IN THE VENGEANCE SERIES

Releasing July 30

Preorder Now

Amazon | Apple | Kobo | Nook

 

————————-

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.

FIND KAYLEA CROSS:

Join Kaylea’s Reader Group

Join Kaylea’s Newsletter

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Instagram | Bookbub | Goodreads

InkSlinger Blogger Final

 

The Legend of Cleopatra

Cleopatra was to Antony

What Cleopatra was to Caesar

Call her what you may

She neither hid her true colours

Nor mask her very feathers

Her talons, indiscriminately sharp

For every single prey

So tell me

My dear

If there’d ever be a day

When you’d actually do

What you always say

Or will you make me rue

Yet again the moment

At which your path

Crossed my way?

Of Simpler Times

I remember a time

When everything was much simpler

Smiles were freer

Frowns were fewer

Never ever shedding a tear

I could count on my fingers

Everything I held dear

Without a single fear

Days were somewhat shorter

Yet joyous moments tended to last longer

Nights were a tad cooler

Windows left open

Just like our hearts

Which were, of course, fuller

And gladder

I remember a time

When things were much simpler

Or

Have I just been dreaming?

Hello, my lovelies!

It’s been a minute since we last spoke. I was just wondering how everyone’s doing. Please do let me know! And I hope we can all look forward to better days ahead.

In other news, how lovely are these flowers (featured image) which I came across during a walk. Mother Nature does shows off at times and how!

As always, thank you for reading.

Yours,

Varnika.

Happy #ReleaseDay to Take the Bride by Carly Phillips

We are beyond excited to be sharing this release from Carly Phillips with you today! TAKE THE BRIDE is part of the Knight Brothers series and it is releasing as part of 1001 Dark Nights. It just went live today! Check out an excerpt and book trailer from the title below. Click here to grab your copy now.

 

Purchase your copy of TAKE THE BRIDE today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

About TAKE THE BRIDE:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carly Phillips comes a new story in her Knight Brothers series…

She used to be his. Now she’s about to marry another man.
Will he let her go … or will he stand up and take the bride?

Ryder Hammond and Sierra Knight were high school sweethearts. Despite him being her brother’s best friend, their relationship burned hot and fast…and ended with heartbreak and regrets.

Years later, she’s at the altar, about to marry another man.

He’s only there for closure, to finally put the past behind him.

But when the preacher asks if anyone has a reason the couple shouldn’t wed, she turns around and her gaze locks on his.

Suddenly he’s out of his seat.

Objecting.

Claiming.

And ultimately stealing the very pissed off bride and taking her to a secluded cabin.

He wants one week to convince her they’re meant to be, to remind her of the fiery passion still burning between them.

When their time together is up, will she walk away and break his heart this time, or will he finally have the woman he’s wanted all along?

Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.

 

Add TAKE THE BRIDE to your Goodreads TBR here!

Purchase your copy of TAKE THE BRIDE today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Excerpt:

A cellist played Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” as Sierra Knight’s bridesmaids, her maid of honor, and the flower girl made their way down the aisle in a large church located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Sierra couldn’t see the procession but she’d been at the rehearsal, and she knew what was happening in the sanctuary of the church. From behind closed doors, where she stood with her oldest brother, Ethan, the deep strains of the string instrument reverberated around her, her heart beating hard and fast in her chest.

She smoothed a hand down her fit-and-flair style wedding gown with lace and beading that she’d loved the moment she’d slid it on. The cathedral-length veil in tulle was matched by the long train flowing behind her. She’d never felt more beautiful… or more nervous.

“Are you sure this is what you want?” Ethan asked, obviously reading her nerves as he put a hand on her trembling arm. “The car’s out front, the engine’s running,” he said, half joking, but she heard the serious note in his voice.

As her oldest brother, he was the father figure she’d always needed since their own parent never lived up to the role. Although Alexander Knight was sitting in one of the pews up front with wife number four, he wasn’t the man Sierra wanted walking her down the aisle. He hadn’t earned that honor nor had he seemed insulted that he hadn’t been asked to play the traditional role.

She thought about Ethan’s question, swallowed hard, and nodded. “Jason is a great guy,” she said, meaning every word.

She’d been with Jason Armstrong, a lawyer, for over a year and she knew him well. They’d met through friends and begun dating soon after. He had a calming presence and he catered to her every desire. He was a kind, decent man.

“I know I’ll have a good life with him,” she reassured her brother, glancing at his strong jaw, which he’d set as he narrowed his gaze.

“I married a woman I thought I knew,” Ethan said, digging into his own pain to make sure Sierra was okay. “Mandy wasn’t who I believed she was. I just want you to be sure you want to marry him.”

Ethan had recently lost his wife to an accidental drug overdose, then gone on to find out she’d been having an affair and stealing from the family company to subsidize her drug addiction. He was not only grieving, he was coming to terms with the betrayal.

But his words now were coming from an honest and good place, one of love. “Don’t get me wrong,” he continued. “I like Jason. We all do,” he said, referring to her two other brothers, Parker and Sebastian. “But are you passionately in love with him?”

BOOK TRAILER

“Carly Phillips is one of my favorite authors for steamy, contemporary romance!” — Jennifer Probst, New York Times Bestselling Author

Curling up with a heart-pounding, sexy, wonderfully crafted Carly Phillips novel is always a treat!” – Kristen Proby, New York Times Bestselling Author

“Read Carly Phillips for a guaranteed hot, sexy, sizzling chemistry, a book full of emotional impact and characters you’ll love.” — Jill Shalvis, New York Times Bestselling Author

“Carly Phillips is synonymous with red-hot romance and passionate love.” Lauren Blakely, #1 NY Times Bestselling Author

“Carly Phillips can take you to romantic places you haven’t yet dreamed of!” Robyn Carr, # 1 NY TimesBestselling Author

“Hot heroes, serious passion and characters with emotional depth.” Bella Andre, NY Times Bestselling Author

“An incredibly sexy contemporary romance that’s impossible to put down!” Rachel Van Dyken #1 NYT Bestselling Author

————————–

About CARLY PHILLIPS:

Carly Phillips is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

Connect With Her:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Reader Group | Twitter | Bookbub

Love Happens?

I’m the girl who wants to go short

When she has long hair

And desperately wishes for long hair

As soon as she chops them off

I’m the girl who wants tea

And coffee

Both

At the same time

Steaming hot

But blown cold with every sip

Buyer’s regret

After days of meticulous research and planning

The instant my card is swiped

Is a very real thing

I believe in loving yourself for who you are

Yet constantly striving to do so much better and bigger

I’m a proven juxtaposition

Of paradoxes

I am fire, I am snow

And you tell me

That love will just happen to me one day?

It’ll pop up like a jack-in-the-box and take me unawares?

It’ll grow on me when I least expect it?

It’ll reaffirm itself

When I see no scope for hope?

Ridiculous, isn’t it?

Because it doesn’t matter how you fall in love

It matters that you do

It doesn’t matter why you start to love

What matters is that it stays.