Favorite Chick-Lits in 2019

Hello Readers! 2019 was full of romance, Chick-Lits and Women’s Fiction. I read max books in this genres. So, I’m excited to list my favorite Chick-Lits of the year.

Here’s a list of my favorite Chick-Lits in no particular order-

1. Love To Prove You Wrong

This was cute, fun and entertaining short novel in Old Pine Cove series. It was hate to love and character falling in love with celebrity arc. The setting was charming . People community of this small town made it more entertaining. I enjoyed reading all characters. Paparazzi, drama, and jealousy added spice in the story. Overall, it was light, sweet and fun read.

2. Willow by Grace Parks

This is not very popular series and I wonder why! This, First in Paper Lane Club Series, was about social media vs anti-social media. I loved Willow’s idea of dinner club at Paper Lane café. Willow’s relationship with her sister and other club members was great. Romance was cute. It was not 5 star read but I enjoyed it.

3. The Secret to Falling in Love

This was about Melissa’s challenge of living without phone and internet and finding love in old-fashioned way. For a person whose life was surrounded by insta, tweeter, facebook, dating apps, emails and online shopping, it looked quiet daunting. And what a character this was, she completed this challenge wonderfully. Her life before the challenge and her experience with virtual free reality and pros and cons of technology she experienced during challenge in her refreshing voice was charm of the book. Overall, it was lighthearted, relatable, refreshing chick lit.

4. The Accidental life swap

It was lovely countryside romance that revolved around Rebecca who accidentally got a chance to live her boss’ life. Book was beautifully narrated in meek Rebecca’s voice which was not that refreshing but definitely realistic. Picturesque countryside, Little Heaton, Vanessa’s holiday home and animal sanctuary was amazing. You cannot not notice quirky animals and their name in this book especially those feathery chickens and wandering donkey. I grew to love them all along with characters. Overall, it was fun, light-hearted, fast paced with interesting plot.

5. When Polly Met Olly

It was wonderfully written heartwarming and thought-provoking chick- lit and a lovely romance. Again it was not 5 star but I enjoyed this book that showed quirks of dating more of how dating agency works. The plot was filled with wit, humor, romance and insight. Overall, it was intriguing, lovely, witty chick-lit and romantic story of Polly and Olly.

Let’s discuss!

Have you read any of these books?
Which genre you read most in 2019?

Happy Reading!!

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#BookReview : I Have (Had) Enough by Jeff Jacobson

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I Have (Had) Enough by Jeff Jacobson
Publication Date : April 26th 2019
Genre: Non-Fiction / memoir
Pages: 195
Stars: Stars: ★★★★★

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“Jeff Jacobson is the greatest contemporary American author you’ve never heard of, but it’s time that changed.”

In this profoundly insightful collection, Jeff Jacobson presents a compelling portrait of marriage, parenthood, friendship, and faith.  At turns hilarious and excruciating, Jacobson’s stories illustrate our shared human experiences of love and loss and offer fresh insights into the twin dance of pain and grace. The author writes from the heart, gut, and spirit as he mines the everyday to discover life’s essential truths. 

“I Have (had) Enough” is better titled “I Have Enough” – enough love for everyone, enough courage to withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous fatherhood, and more blessings than a man deserves.

Honest and filled with joy, I Have (had) Enough is a master-class in love, devotion, and embracing grace wherever you find it.

“If Anne Lamotte and David Sedaris had a child, then put him up for adoption in the suburban Midwest, that child would grow up to be Jeff Jacobson.”

*** Note: I received e-copy this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author. ***

I Have (Had) Enough was memoir, a collection of author’s reflection on life, memories lived as a friend, husband and majorly as a father. It was about life experiences, friendship, fatherhood, faith, hope, and love.

After a long time I don’t know how to construct a review. I knew I cannot write a good review of a non-fiction book and much less of an auto-biography and a memoir. It’s the reason I usually don’t read them. But when I got request for this book, I thought I should at least try. It looked different and so it was.

The book is not exactly a memoir of life story. It’s collection of memories and feelings written like all of it was poured in a letter or journal. When I read this, it felt like I was listening Jeff’s speech on stage about every member of his family and loved ones. You know that feeling on hearing a beautiful wedding toast, it was exactly like that. It was unique and beautiful way of telling story.

Book was written in 6 parts. First was introduction of Jeff’s family and loved ones and random childhood memories of Jeff’s four kids. Second part was dedicated to Jeff’s eldest son Gabe, third to twin kids- Tate and Levi, fourth to lovely daughter- Cloe, fifth to best friend Jimmy and sixth to Jesus.

Author started book introducing his wife whom he called hub of the wheel, a central part of his family who kept the family together and running. I got to know how Jeff met Kristie and his love for her. I wish there was more in this first chapter from where his story and his life began. Another person who held important place even after his death in World Trade Center attack was Jimmy, Jeff’s best friend. It was tragic to read about this wonderful person whom I could know through words and feelings of author.

All parts were filled with some lovely, some frustrating, some sad while some tense and worry-filled moments. They were magical to read, written with raw feelings that came alive out of my kindle screen. It showed Jeff’s struggle as parents, journey of life from friendship, marriage, birth of all his children, childhood and teenage years and how they turned into adults bursting Jeff with pride, love, and joy, how he revere Jesus for all he got in life keeping the faith alive.  Whether it was screaming and fighting kids or catching a daughter in cage of love, saving one of them from urinal penny or taking to dentist, being friends with their friends or getting their driving license, worry for a boy who is now a man and miles away from home to be marine or for daughter who is going to college… it was all written from heart and soul that I’m sure all parents will feel.

What I loved most was his letters to his eldest and future spouses of his all children. They told about what they should expect from his children, what were their plus points and what were their flaws and his tremendous love for them. I loved to read about Gabe more than any other children.

It was insightful collection of essays that inspired and motivated me to cherish the time I have, record all the wonderful moments I’m having with my daughter and at the same time be strong for the tough time and the time when they grow up to live their own life with the faith and trust in God.

Overall, it was thoughtful ocean of love and life of Jeff, I loved to read. I definitely recommend this book.

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Affiliate Link: Book Depository

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already or any book by the same author? Which memoir or autobiography you loved most?

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#AuthorInterview : Varsha Ravi, author of The Heartless Divine @pvraviwrites

Hello Readers! I’m pleased to welcome Varsha Ravi, author of YA Fantasy debut novel- The Heartless Divine, for an interview on Books Teacup and Review. Check out more about the book and author in this post.

The Heartless Divine by Varsha Ravi
Publication Date: November 29th 2019
Genre: YA / Fantasy

Synopsis:

In this unexpected twist on mythology inspired by Sangam India, reincarnated lovers find themselves bound together, connected to their past by a centuries old tragedy that only one of them remembers.

In the ruthless martial empire of Naja, Suri is the crown’s unfailing blade. But the princess dreams of a life exploring the lands beyond the borders, unshackled by blood. The king and queen offer her freedom, at a price: marriage to a king she’s meant to kill, and the death of Athri, a kingdom her family once nearly destroyed.

Her only obstacle lies in the mountains above the Athrian capital of Marai, where a young prophet sees a world struck by catastrophe—a world where a girl lies dead in the temple of the fire god, and the city lies burning below.

Centuries later, Suri lives with no recollection of her past lives. Haunted by her family’s deaths eighteen years ago, Suri sees the boy bleeding gold on her doormat as an opportunity to unravel the mystery of the car crash that took their lives. But not all gifts are created equal, and the boy soon proves to be more trouble than he’s worth, a dangerous link back to a world of gods and wishes.

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Varsha Ravi is a senior at California High School. She was born and raised in Illinois, before moving to North Carolina. She is currently living in the Bay Area, California.

As a kid, she read voraciously, encouraging her to attempt writing her first stories at a young age. Even as she grew older, creative writing continued to be a passion of hers.

The Heartless Divine is her first novel.

When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, studying, or curating Spotify playlists.

Can you tell readers a little about your book, The Heartless Divine? What they can expect from the book?

The Heartless Divine is a book about human choice in a world dictated by fate. It follows two different timelines: one set in the U.S.A. in the 21st century, and one set in 200 A.D. in a country inspired by areas of Sangam Era India. In the modern timeline, a nineteen-year-old college student named Suri finds herself mysteriously bound to an amnesiac god weakened by an attack he can’t fully remember. The rest of that plot mainly follows their budding friendship as Kiran struggles to piece together his past and how it connects him to Suri in the present. The past plot follows the first lives of the soulmates, over seventeen hundred years before the modern arc. Suri, an assassin princess from a foreign country, is arranged to marry the young king of Athri. Her assignment is to kill him immediately after the wedding. However, the king’s adopted brother, the messianic prophet of the kingdom, has a vision of her death soon before her arrival. This plot largely follows the span of time between her arrival and the wedding, as Kiran tries to protect Suri and she struggles to confront her feelings regarding the upcoming assassination.

Readers can expect a complex, mythology-inspired fantasy with romance, drama, and tragedy.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

It came to me while I was writing another book, actually. Back then, a lot of the details that I now feel are incredibly salient and relevant to the plot didn’t exist; more than anything, my first grasp of the book hinted more at underlying themes in the premise: a tragic love story bookended by humans and gods and sacrifice, and a peek at the darker sides of love and power. Thinking about it now, I might’ve thought up the initial premise while listening to a song (most of my ideas appear when I’m listening to music).

What inspired you for fantasy setting and reincarnated lovers arc of The Heartless Divine?

Setting wise, I knew I wanted to tell a story across two different timelines, with fundamentally different circumstances. There’s definitely an element of fate present in the story, and I wanted to play with how the timelines paralleled one another and differed, to emphasize the characters’ agency but also bring in a kind of inevitability with regards to their endings. The reincarnated soulmates arc stems from that greatly – Suri and Kiran are different from their past selves, and yet they still fall in love.

The magic system in the book was always meant to be tied to gods, but more than that, I liked the idea of tying it to souls. Souls don’t change, but they can be changed and manipulated, and are the same in humans and in gods. I thought it would be interesting to create a fantasy where magic was innate and visceral instead of nature-based, especially since the novel itself is closely tied to emotions borne of such things.

What type of characters do you love and hate to write? What is your favorite quality in protagonists? Does anyone in real life inspired you to write them?

This might come off a bit trite, but I really love writing characters that are human. I like imbuing them with the flaws and dreams and strengths that come with every one of us, and I also love writing the different dynamics between naturally conflicting characters. I also love playing with idealistic and cynical characters, and the spectrum of morality. My favorite quality in protagonists.

I don’t enjoy writing characters that are incontrovertibly good or evil, or adhere too closely to a certain trope. Although I feel like those kinds of characters do have a place in fiction, it’s personally not as fun to me when there’s no apparent depth to a character’s actions.

None of my real life acquaintances have directly inspired a character, though I do feel like some of the character’s traits might have been inspired by my close friends, and my interactions with them. There’s no real character inserts, though.

What is the most interesting aspect of The Heartless Divine?

I modeled the book after a classical tragedy with the aim of emphasizing the heavy hand of fate throughout the plot. I think the most interesting aspect is how the supposed freedom of human choice works into that; whether human agency is real, and if not, whether it still matters to feel as though you have control of your own fate. Another interesting aspect of the book is the dichotomy between humanity and divinity; by making one of the characters a god who was once a human, it was really fun to play with the boundaries of what defines inhumanity, and thus, what defines humanity.  

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I decided to self-publish. Juggling revisions, publication, classes, and college applications wasn’t easy, but my father helped out with a lot of the minutiae of the publishing process.

What are your most favorite and least favorite thing about being an author?

My favorite thing is probably just writing. It can definitely be overwhelming at times, but the rush that comes from working through a good scene is unbeatable. Research can also be really fun.

My least favorite thing is probably the self-consciousness that comes with knowing my work is publicly available. I’m confident in my writing, but it’s a little strange to know anyone could pick up the book and read it now, after so many months of it being solely my own.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I prefer to write at home on my bed, but I’m pretty flexible with location as long as I feel somewhat secluded. My only real ritual is that it’s difficult for me to get into the mood if I’m not listening to music. I’ve made several playlists for each of the projects I’ve worked on.

What is the next project you’re working on?

I’m currently working on the sequel to The Heartless Divine. Plotting it has been incredibly fun so far. I think it’s an interesting foil to the first novel; it has a lot of the same themes, but circumstances change drastically, and the decisions the characters are forced to take become much messier and darker.

Can you describe The Heartless Divine in five words?

Fate, doomed love, human error.

And the last one, top 3 tips for aspiring authors.

  1. Read as often as you can, and as much as you can. Reading helps with understanding plot structure on a deeper level, and being surrounded with prose can help spark inspiration. It’s also just really interesting to see some of the amazing books out there these days.
  2. Write as often as you can – even if you can’t get anything on paper one day, try to keep yourself engaged by plotting and fleshing out the details of the story. But writing even a few hundred words each day does help stabilize flow and style.
  3. Don’t be self-conscious of your work on your first draft. I’ve definitely struggled with this and continue to, but the time I spend stressed out about specific sentences or paragraphs is wasted. Over time, I’ve begun to place faith in the revision process and trained myself to write whatever I want to on the first draft.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Readers can check out my website (linked below), as well as my twitter.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Purchase Links: Amazon

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and interview? Have you read this book? Are you going to add it to TBR?

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#BookReview : Fire and the Falcon (Starchild #4) by Vacen Taylor @VacenTaylor

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Fire and the Falcon (Starchild #4) by Vacen Taylor
Publication Date: June 13th 2019
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Genre: Middle grade / Fantasy
Pages: 136
Stars: ★★★★★

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With a treacherous ice journey behind them and Long’s health restored by the Healing Stone, Mai, Akra and Kalin must now find the falcon guard called Tupuck in the fireruler’s city of Calor.

It’s not long before they discover the city is ruled by a ruthless governor who has captured the falcon guard and the daughter of Ignis. The four children become soldiers in a rebellion and aid in a plan to free the falcon guard and Ignis’s daughter. All the while the dark force of Piceptus continues to gather strength.

As the children fight in the rebellion, Piceptus increases his position and readies himself to receive an even greater army. Will the information the falcon guard holds help to bring the children closer to fulfilling the prophecy and stop Piceptus from conquering all of the nations?

*** Note: I received this book from the author as a winner of giveaway. ***

Previous book I read in series:

Fire and Falcon was most adventurous in this fantasy series that took children to land of fire where they found many answers.  It was about evils of magic, slavery, fight for justice and freedom, bravery and friendship.

Writing was again fantastic. What I like most about writing is, author don’t waste time in repeating what happened in previous books or re-explaining world and powers or lengthy descriptions. Characters, world, plot and action was vividly described that was easy to imagine even for kids. If I forgot to mention before, this series would make a great animation movie.

It started with children arriving to Land of Bonfar, near Calor, one of the city of firerulers in search of Falcon guard. But as soon as they enter the city and try to find a friend, Ignis, they met on their journey in first book, they got involved in conspiracy and found themselves in dungeon. It turned out Ignis was a leader of rebels against the governor who slaved firerulers to work in mines and forbidden them from using their skills. Children didn’t want to be part of this war against governor until Long was once again lost to them, captured by governor. Governor had powers they didn’t imagine. Moreover, Amual was also on their trail trying to capture Akra and King of Fire, Piceptus, was raising his army.

How they will fight such powerful man and save Long? Will they find falcon guard and get the information that is so important to Akra from the very beginning of this journey?

Mai was stronger now, could use advanced thoughtbanking and soon she could master her skills. Kalin also developed in his skills and views. The relation between these two was turning from friendship to special. He was troubled in this book and I admired him for his decision. Long was different after being saved and healed by healing stone. He was now strong and brave. He understood his skills more and appreciated Mai’s love and efforts. He was more cautious and strong willed this time. All characters played wonderful part. Akra was hero. He never seize to amaze me. In each book he mastered a new skill and helped other characters and nations.

World was great. This time along with characters I got to know more about fireruler’s city and their steam inventions. They also used rifles which was called ‘refell’ here. This hot and dry nation was different from other nation. It was advanced in machineries, costly, people were diverse.

Many things happened in this book that made story exciting. Akra found his answers, he found the real use of Silvershade and its importance in prophecy. Oh and there were some surprising revelations in the middle and end of the book.

Climax was exciting. I guessed it differently. It was tense, action packed and well written. End was sad.  Once again children have to continue their journey with heavy heart. I could imagine lot of action in next book as now only one line of prophecy is remained to be fulfilled. Whether children will stop Piceptus from conquering world or not will be answered in the next book which is yet to release.

Overall, it was fantastic middle grade fantasy filled with action, adventure and lot of magic. I recommend you catch up with this fantastic series before final book is released.

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Affiliate Link: Book Depository

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already or any book in this series? Are you going to add it to TBR?
Which book you read had hottest/scorching setting?

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