Friday, February 12, 2016

Basant Panchami also known as Vasant Panchami, Shri Panchami, Saraswati Panchami, Saraswati Puja is an Indian festival that celebrates the end of winters and the first day of Spring. It is also celebrated as the birthday of Goddess Saraswati who is the ruling deity of knowledge, wisdom, music, culture, enlightenment and arts. 

Celebrated on the fifth day of the Magh season of the Hindu calendar, hence the name "Panchami" in Hindi meaning "fifth" in English. Basant word comes from "Basanti" colour in Hindi which means "yellow" in English. "Basant/Vasant" means "Spring".

Spring or Basant/Vasant season is symbolized with yellow which is the colour of sunshine and associated with joy, happiness, intellect, energy, warmth and new harvest. The mustard fields are in full bloom during this time and are bright yellow!

Special puja (worship) is held in temples, at home, children are taught to write their first words, priests/brahmins are fed, ancestor worship (pitr-tarpan) is performed, educational institutions organize special puja for Goddess Sawaswati and people rejoice by wearing yellow clothes, eating yellow coloured sweets, singing, dancing and flying kites! 

Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on this day and her blessings sought to gain more knowledge, wisdom and prosperity. Saraswati Puja of West Bengal is specially famous for its pomp, joyous celebrations and a memorable experience. 

Saraswati Puja of West Bengal is very famous and a memorable event!
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Apart from Goddess Saraswati, Lord Vishnu (the Lord of the World) and Lord Kamdev (the God of Love and Desire) are also worshipped on this day. It is believed that whatever we wish for from these deities comes true. So students ask for knowledge and people ask for success, prosperity and wisdom.

Basant Panchami day is also an Abujh Muhurat, i.e. the most auspicious Muhurat. It is believed that starting education on this day is very favorable for the native. Hence, it is believed to be a good time for Vidyarambh Sanskar. Starting education on this day makes a person intelligent and knowledgeable. Saraswati is the Goddess who represents knowledge and wisdom; hence, her blessings will also bring positive perception and this will increase wisdom as well. Goddess Saraswati is also considered as the mother of music and art. Therefore, before commencing any music or art education, she is always worshiped.

Each minute of this day is considered auspicious and there is no need to match birth stars if one gets married on this day. It is also a great day for throwing house warming (Griha Pravesh) ceremonies, starting a new business and other important tasks which are believed would be a sure shot success by the blessings of Goddess Saraswati!

The significance of the from of Goddess Saraswati that is worshipped on this day:

Goddess Saraswati

Goddess Saraswati is known by different names like Gayatri, Bani, Sharada, Hansavahini etc. 

-She is always shown clad in white. White is the colour symbolizing purity and new beginnings. 

-Her white sari with a golden border symbolizes a pure life with desires and sensitivity which can blossom creatively to lead to happiness in life.

-Goddess Saraswati has four hands which represent manas (mind, sense), buddhi (intellect, reasoning), citta (imagination, creativity) and ahamkara(self consciousness, ego).

-One hand holds a Tulasi Mala (rosary, garland) which symbolizes spiritualism.

-One hand holds the Vedas which symbolize wisdom and knowledge, form the basis of the 64 art forms. This symbolizes our rich culture and civilization.

-Two hands hold the musical instrument, Veena, earning her the name "Veenapani". Veena has several strings that when strung in combination make different types of music. This symbolizes all creative arts and sciences. Holding the instrument symbolizes expressing knowledge that creates harmony.

-She sits on a white lotus which again symbolizes purity, the discrimination for true knowledge, insight and wisdom.

-A white swan is often shown sitting at her feet. A swan or hans (in Hindi) is considered a sacred bird and believed that when served a mixture of milk and water is able to drink the milk alone. It, therefore, symbolizes the ability to discriminate between good and evil. Goddess Saraswati is often called "Hansavahini" which means "one who has a swan as her vehicle". The swan also symbolizes pure perfection, transcendence and moksha.

-A peacock (mayura, mor) is also sometimes shown near her feet. The peacock symbolizes colourful splendor, a celebration of dance and a devourer of snakes - the ability to destroy the poisonous serpent like essence of self into the radiant plumage of enlightenment.

A water body is sometimes shown in the background depicting her early history reference as a River Goddess.

-Sometimes a river or a flowing water body is also shown in the background which depicts her early history reference as a River Goddess.

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So go ahead, worship Goddess Saraswati, seek her blessings and may knowledge, wisdom, serenity and perfection define your life!

Have a very Happy and Blessed Basant Panchami and Saraswati Puja!





Hey Book Lovers,

Georgia Rose's highly rated mystery, Before The Dawn is on limited time Sale for just 99c/99p from 8-12 February. This is the second book in the loved Grayson Trilogy. The first book, A Single Step is permanently priced at 99c/99p/64INR.

So don't miss the chance to grab these books and read this mystery, suspense and romance series at hopelessly low prices!


 99c/99p Sale: Before the Dawn (The Grayson Trilogy #2) by Georgia Rose (8-12 Feb)


About the Book:

Title and Author: Before the Dawn by Georgia Rose
No. of Pages: 200
Series: The Grayson Trilogy, Book 2
Publication Date: August 2015
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary Romance, Sports, Action, Adventure

Blurb:

‘...he moved closer and slowly ran the point of his blade along my jaw line as he spoke softly, intimately, to me. 
“So, you are Trent’s woman. Now that is very...appealing.” I glared back at him silently.’

There are testing times ahead for Grayson and Trent as trouble threatens Melton Manor. When an attack is made against those on the estate, Grayson gets caught in the middle finding herself and those around her in terrible danger. Terrified when she thinks tragedy has struck again she fights to protect those she now views as family and, suffering bloodshed and pain, confronts her fears – both brought by the enemy and by the one she loves.

 Add-to-Goodreads: Before The Dawn by Georgia Rose

Buying links:

On Sale for just 99c/99p from 8th Feb-12th Feb!

Amazon IN {67 INR}Amazon UK {99p} Amazon US {99c}Smashwords {99c}Kobo {99c} Nook {99c}


Excerpt:

As I headed back on Monty, my second ride of the day, I rode up the main drive and, turning right towards the stables, a glint of reflected sunlight caught my eye. I looked over, through the intricate wrought iron of the gates – a car, dark blue, stationary on the road. Spots of sparkling chrome had alerted me to its presence. As it paused for a moment longer, I imagined the eyes behind the tinted windows making a connection with mine as the hairs on the back of my neck rose and my skin prickled. It drove off and, knowing what I now needed to do, I returned quickly to the stables and leapt off Monty, glad to be able to take off the back protector Trent had bought me – and insisted I wear.

I hesitated as I reached for my phone. Should I tell him now? He was busy travelling back with the wedding guests, and I knew he wouldn’t want them to be alerted to anything being wrong. Was it so important that it couldn’t wait until he got back? It was hardly as if the estate was actually being stormed, was it?



About the Author:

Georgia Rose is a writer and the author of The Grayson Trilogy books: A Single Step, Before the Dawn and Thicker than Water.

Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her overactive imagination!

Following a long stint working in the law Georgia set up her own business providing administration services for other companies which she does to this day managing to entwine that work along with her writing.

Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire where she lives with her much neglected family of a husband, two grown up children and two dogs.

Follow Georgia here:


Don't Miss the First book in The Grayson Trilogy. Buy A Single Step for just 64INR/99c/99p!



‘The gun continued to be levelled at me. “Answer it...but don’t tell him I’m here or he’ll get to listen to you die.” That concentrated my mind considerably, and as I reached for my phone I came up with a plan...’

Emma Grayson was left devastated when her life was torn apart by tragedy and betrayal.  Now someone believes it’s time for her to start again and puts an advert for a job through her door which leads her to the Melton Estate.  Despite her desire for a solitary existence she finds herself discovering a life she could never have imagined, challenging her independence, her fears and her resistance to love.

Amazon IN {64 INR} | Amazon UK {99p} | Amazon US {99c} | Smashwords {99c} | Kobo {99c} | Nook {99c}

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Also checkout and buy The Princess Companion (A retelling of The Princess and the Pea) by Melanie Cellier for just 99c/99p/99INR till 9th Feb.: Click Here #FairyTale #YA #Teen




His Personal Relationship Manager His Personal Relationship Manager by Jennifer Peel 
Kenadie Marshall suffered the most public of humiliations, being left at the altar. Instead of wallowing in her misery, she makes it her mission to help others find true and lasting love, all while swearing off relationships for good. Between the software application she developed and a team of relationship managers, her brainchild, Binary Search, has an uncanny knack for choosing the perfect match almost every time. Attractive and loveable Jason Hadley is taken with Kenadie Marshall from their first meeting. Determined to win her over, he does anything and everything he can think of, even if it means using her firm’s service and dating other women to stay close to her. Will Kenadie realize she’s met her match before it’s too late? Or will Jason’s ploy go too far? Find out in His Personal Relationship Manager, a romantic comedy with an epic battle of wills.


Buying Links:
Amazon IN | Amazon US


Praise for the Book 
 "One of the best romantic comedies I've read in a long time!" - Becky Monson, Bestselling Author of the Spinster Series "There's nothing more satisfying than a story with a great plot, strong characters, and a romance that makes me swoon. This story has it all and more! I loved every minute of it!" - Katie from Katie's Clean Book Collection


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Excerpt
He paused for a moment. His intense gaze had me feeling undone. “Are you happy, Kenadie?” “That’s a complicated question.” “Well, you are a complicated woman.” “I don’t try to be.” “It was a compliment.” “How do you do that?” “What’s that?” “You always know what to say to make me feel better about myself.” “Well, that’s easy. You give me good material to work with.” “Jason … Today, I’m happy.” “You don’t know how happy I am to hear that,” he said smoothly.  

Jennifer Peel Author Jennifer Peel 
Jennifer Peel is the mother of three amazing kiddos. Wife to her one and only for the past twenty-one years. Lover of late night talks, beach vacations, the mountains, pink bubble gum ice cream, tours of model homes, and southern living. She can frequently be found with her laptop on, fingers typing away, indulging in chocolate milk, and writing out the stories that are constantly swirling through her head.





100_Amazon_PaypalBook Blast Giveaway – $100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 in Paypal Cash
Ends 2/25/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 11, 2016


THE MILLIONAIRE MAKEOVER
Bachelor Auction #2
Naima Simone
Releasing on February 8, 2016
Entangled Indulgence

Blurb:
Plain-Jane computer programmer Khloe Richardson needs a date—one to make the prince of her dreams jealous. Maybe then he'll finally see her as a desirable swan and not the ugly duckling in the second office from the left.

But when she bids on a bachelor at a charity auction, the man she wins is millionaire Niall Hunter—who once made intense, passionate love to her and then left without a word. She's determined not to let her guard down again—among other things—around the infamous Irish lothario.

Niall never imagined his penance for one hot-as-hell night with his best friend’s little sister would be transforming her from a shy wallflower to a sultry siren. Helping her attract another man is torture...especially when he promised his friend he’d stay away. Plus, she wants forever, and he's not a forever kind of guy. But Niall can't stop wanting her. Can't stop touching her. Can't stop, period. And damn if he can remember why he has to...

ARC Book Review:

The Millionaire Makeover first attracted me when I read its blurb on a friend's blog and instantly loved it. A plain-Jane heroine undergoes a makeover to win her crush's heart. This story line really appealed to my romantic self and before I knew it I was chatting about it and came to know of the chance to read it before its release and jumped at the chance.

The cover is intriguing but it was the blurb that really won me over and I think is the most appealing first impression maker. 

The plot looks pretty straightforward  but the author has admirably handled it to give the reader well calculated surprises and twists to keep him/her engaged all through. This is my first book by Naima Simone and I loved her narrative style where apart from the somewhat excessive usage of F-words (for me), she has a fluid narrative style that kept me engrossed right from the start and I could not keep down the book until the very end!

Khloe felt so familiar to me with her shy and nerdy nature. She fell in love with her older brother's best friend, Niall but is heartbroken when she is rebuffed after a night's passionate lovemaking. Now she thinks she has found her ideal match in her boss except he never seems to notice her!

Niall is guilty of causing his best friend's death and promises himself to protect the said friend's younger sister, Khloe, even if it means keeping her away from a Casanova like himself and rebuffing her love is the first step towards protecting her.

I loved both these characters. Sometimes I felt irritated with Niall, who is an alpha character and even a bit arrogant, and felt like smacking him but still I could understand his insecurities and his belief that he was not good enough for someone as good as Khloe. Both these characters are so meant to be together and had me sitting on the edge of my seat, rooting for their happily-ever-after. The romance between them is hot and sometimes borders on being erotic but still the balance of emotions kept it good enough for me. 

I also enjoyed meeting Khloe's friend, Morgan and am eager to read her own story. She is a loyal friend and very enigmatic. 

The story is well-paced and kept my interest captured right till the end. There are some very well placed twists and turns that not only surprised me but are very noteworthy in making this seemingly simple story a very unique one.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Millionaire Makeover and recommend it to all romance lovers above the age of eighteen. 4 out of 5 to it from me and I look forward to reading more from Naima Simone in the future.



I received an ARC from the publishers and the tour organizers via NetGalley and I am very thankful to them. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.


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Giveaway:

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THE MILLIONAIRE MAKEOVER

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About the Author:


Naima's love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Linda Howard many years ago. Though her first attempt at writing a romance novel at 11 never saw the light of day, her love of romance and writing has endured. Now, she spends her time creating stories of unique men and women who experience the dizzying heights of passion and the tender heat of love. She is the wife to Superman - or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent - and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.


Don't Miss the First in the Bachelor Auction Series
BEAUTY AND THE BACHELOR



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pimpernel Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt 
They seek him here; they seek him there. For centuries, the elite of the world have sought the Pimpernel everywhere. Some want to kill him, others want to hire him, but Jack Cavanaugh knows that the love/hate relationship comes with the job title. At present, Jack is trying to dismantle an investment scheme centered in Las Vegas, but "trying" is the operative word. It's been a month since he put the face of the scheme behind bars, yet the scam is still going strong. As Jack tries to uncover who has stepped in as the new head, what miniscule evidence there is all seems to point him back to Claire Ramsey, an introverted PhD student studying at UNLV. If ever there as an unlikely head of a investment scheme, Claire's it. She has a genius IQ, but from all Jack has seen, Claire’s intelligence is as much a blessing as a curse when paired up with her acute OCD. Claire can barely make conversation with the cute guy down the hall, which makes it hard to believe she could be the charismatic salesperson who is getting international businessmen to invest $5—50 million a pop. So what is Jack missing? What is the real story behind Claire Ramsey? And once Jack learns it, will he be able to walk away?  

Buying Links:
Amazon IN | Amazon US


Excerpt
The high-pitched scream from the other side of her apartment door shattered Claire’s thoughts. “Daniel?” That shriek had been way too high to come out of a man. “Help!” Daniel’s voice cried out from the other side of the door. Claire unlocked the door and pushed it open, finding Daniel cowering on the couch in sailor-themed boxer briefs. Classical music played from his bedroom, indicating Daniel had been sewing before he ended up on the couch. On the ground between them lay the lounge robe Daniel had made in his fashion design class along with his house slippers. They looked like they’d been flung at random. “Move!” he shrieked at her, stabbing his finger at the ground like a mad man. “Take the high ground and leave the door open. Maybe it will go back to the gates of hell, where it belongs!” Claire followed the direction of his manic gesturing, freezing when her eyes locked on something the size of her fist with eight hairy legs. “Daniel? Please tell me that is a toy.” “That. Is. NOT. A. Toy!” The spider chose that moment to make its move—which happened to be sprinting her way. Claire shrieked as Daniel motioned for her to join him on the couch. “High ground!” Was he insane? She would have to leap over the tarantula to get to him. Why in the world would she do that when she could just run away and go to a hotel for the night? “Voldemort?” a man’s voice said from behind her a split second before Claire backed into a male body blocking her retreat. Not only did Claire scream, but her body was suddenly possessed by an Olympic hurdler as she scampered across the living room and flung herself into Daniel’s arms on the couch. “You found her!” a flagpole of a man from the doorway said as Claire latched onto Daniel, hiding her face against his shoulder. If she didn’t see the spider, maybe it would cease to exist. “Found it?” Daniel scoffed. “That thing tried to duel me for my sandwich before I batted him off my kitchen table.” Claire shuttered, only vaguely realizing that the shoulder she was hiding her face in was bare. I’ve never hugged a guy who was only wearing underwear before, she thought a moment before Daniel pulled her keys out of her hand and flung them at the ground to join his slippers and robe. “Don’t chase it this way!” Daniel yelled at the other guy. “Come on, Voldemort,” the spider guy cooed. “Let’s get you back into your habitat—Don’t run!” Wait, it was running? Claire didn’t want to see that, yet something compelled her to turn and look anyway. People always said that horrible things seemed to happen in slow motion, but Claire could have sworn the giant arachnid was coming at her in fast-forward mode. In a heartbeat, she had climbed up to ride piggyback on Daniel while he responded by flapping his hands in panic as if he could fan the thing away with a light breeze. Not only did the spider keep running, it was sprinting like an arachnid with a plan—heading straight for the couch. When Daniel backed away, Claire felt her back thump into the wall. Before he could move again, she pushed off his back to stand on the back of the couch, dropping her purse when it threatened her balance. On the way down, it ended up in Daniel’s hands and he wasted no time finding items inside and tossing them at the spider while its owner moved in to act like a human shield. “No!” the tall guy cried as he tried to corral the beast. “Don’t throw things at her. You might hurt her.” Just then, Claire’s favorite lip gloss bounced off the hairy spider, stunning it. That lip gloss was dead to her—not just the tube, the actual brand. She’d never be able to look at it the same again.

add to goodreads


SheralynAuthor Sheralyn Pratt
Some describe Sheralyn as a girl who's been around the block and worked at every shop. This isn't far from the truth. Writing is what she loves most, however. There's a magical power in stepping into new perspectives time and again, and seeing the world through different eyes. Few things increase empathy more than walking in another's shoes for 100,000 words or so. At least that seems to be the trend so far.
Some random things to know about Sheralyn: * She's a wanderer (geographically) * She can write a novel, but doesn't have the attention span for one page in a journal * She vehemently disagrees with Stephen King's stance that authors should not watch TV * She is pretty much incapable of sleeping before midnight

25_Amazon_Paypal Blog Tour Giveaway 
 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/28/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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