J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the month “September, 2020”

Guest Post by Alex Altuhov

I frequently spotlight guest posts by other bloggers, giving them the opportunity to gain an additional audience, as well as expanding my own audience with different topics. Home improvement subjects are a favorite topic of mine, since my husband and I are in the process of remodeling our home, and he is in the process of acquiring a real estate license. I hope you enjoy this article!

Description: Are you looking for a way to install fancy kitchen lighting? We have prepared six steps to help you. Read on to find out how to transform your kitchen lighting from ordinary to spectacular. 

6 Steps to a Fancy Kitchen Lighting

The kitchen is the holy place in any house. People spend there the majority of their time. Just think about it: we cook, eat, chat, host parties, pay bills, do homework in the kitchen. Multifunctional space requires the appropriate solutions in terms of kitchen lighting. But don’t rush searching for light installation NYC services. Start from investigating what awaits you. Here are six steps on the way to modern kitchen lighting.

  1. Plan Lighting When You Sign off Kitchen Drawings

The main message is that you should plan lighting in advance. That’s the foremost life hack from all kitchen lighting tips. The best time is when you are signing off kitchen drawings. After that, your choices will be limited. At the stage of planning, it’s better to focus on the main zones and types of lighting rather than pendants and fixtures.

  1. Think Through Task Lighting

Task lighting is essential for the main zones: food preparation, washing, dining. The main goal is to provide enough amount of light. Especially, you should pay attention to under-cabinet and over island lighting. These are the main zones where you are going to cook and spend plenty of time. According to the Statista, almost half of the US citizens were happy to spend 30-60 minutes cooking a weekend meal.

  1. Don’t Forget About Accents

Accent lighting is responsible for an interesting visual effect. It emphasizes design or architectural details. One of the common examples is lighting along shelves or in cabinets. Traditional kitchen lighting ideas include lighting from beneath. 

Another interesting option is to add some light to the top of the cabinets to create a great sense of dimension. All in all, you can be really creative here and let your imagination out. 

  1. Finally, Ambient Lighting

Although it doesn’t affect the amount of lighting in the main zones, this type of lighting completes the ensemble. It’s responsible for the overall ambiance and atmosphere. Here, you should consider pendants, chandeliers, and recessed lighting. 

The smart combination of ambient lighting options contributes to creating a dynamic layering of light. Furthermore, it influences the overall mood in your kitchen. It fills the gaps, which remain after you set up the accent and task lighting. 

  1. Decorative Lighting Time Has Come

Decorative lighting is more about interior design and overall style rather than providing an adequate amount of light. A typical design solution is to install pendants or chandeliers above a dining area or kitchen island. You can establish it lower than other types of lighting to create layers and make your kitchen look visually attractive.

  1. What about the “Controls”

Controls should be placed in accessible areas. You have to think through their position in advance. On the final stage, choose the desirable controls. For example, it will be really nice to have one with a dimming feature.

As you see, there is nothing complicated in the kitchen lighting layout. The basic rule is to provide enough light for main zones and complement it with the accent, ambient, and decorative lighting.

Book Tour – Along Came a Spyder

Are your Spidey senses tingling?

At 17, Samira Joshi has only one dream in life. She wants to be a spy.

 And why not? 

Spying runs in the Joshi genes. 

Her great-grandmother was famous for sticking her nose in everyone’s business. Her grandmother had a flourishing side-business of tracking down errant husbands and missing servants. Her parents are elite intelligence agents for RAW.

Yet, they want their only daughter to become a doctor.

When she sees a college friend being trapped by a pimp, Samira does some spying of her own, and discovers the existence of a secret sisterhood of teen spies — The Spyders. And, she wants in!

The question is, do they want her?

To find out, read this fast-paced, gripping YA novel by brand new author, Apeksha Rao.

Book links:

Amazon India: https://amzn.to/3miRgof

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52663172-along-came-a-spyder

Advance praise for Along Came A Spyder:

“A thrilling read with several nail biting moments. Will keep you hooked till the end.”

 Andaleeb Wajid, author of The Legend Of The Wolf

“A fantastic spy story, keeps you on the edge and you can’t stop till you finish the book. A fantastic debut book. Look forward to reading more from the author.”

Kanchana Banerjee, author of Nobody’s Child and A Forgotten Affair.

“Witty, snarky and a thorough entertainer, Along Came a Spyder is a welcome addition to India’s YA genre.”

Shilpa Suraj, author of Love, Marriage and Other Disasters, Saved by Love, and, Driven by Desire

“Apeksha Rao writes a taut espionage thriller with a twist-a-minute narrative that is sure to get all readers hooked. The language is flawless, the characterization spot-on, and the plot is filled with rich details. It is the kind of story that you’d leave all your other work aside to read. Be warned!”

Neil D’Silva, author of Haunted, Yakshini and Maya’s New Husband

Author bio:

Apeksha Rao fell in love with words very early in life. 

While other kids of her age were still learning to spell, she was already reading her older brother’s books and comics. 

She wrote her first story at the age of seven and submitted it to Tinkle, a very popular children’s magazine. 

Writing took a backseat, as she established a thriving medical practice.

But Apeksha rekindled her love affair with words, while on maternity leave. 

She would tap away at her keyboard while rocking her twin babies to sleep, as sleep deprivation stimulated her dormant creativity.

She wrote numerous short stories, that she published on her blog. 

Apeksha has been lauded for her taut and gripping stories, that always come with a twist at the end.

In addition to Along Came A Spyder, she has written The Itsy Bitsy Spyder, a prequel novella to the Spyders series.

A Mumbaikar, born and bred, Apeksha comes from a family of doctors. 

At the ripe age of thirty-four, she wound up her practice and moved with her family, to Bengaluru. 

She is now a full-time writer. 

She is also a die-hard foodie, who’s still trying to find the best vada-pav in Bengaluru.

She has twin boys, who keep her on her toes.

Apeksha’s husband is her inspiration to write, as well as her biggest critic.

Website – https://apeksharao.in/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ApekshaRaoOfficial/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/apekshar

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/rao.apeksha/

Book Blitz – Anamika Khanna Falls in Love

About the Book:

How far would you go in love?

A few missed calls? Liking every post of his on FB? Landing in the hospital when you fall from a tree because you wanted to see into his room? 
Anamika Khanna is madly in love with Rahul…
How can someone be so blind? Why can’t she see how much I love her? Will my confession jeopardise our friendship?
Vikram Lobo, the bookworm has developed muscles and lost the soda bottle glass-es. But he can’t stop his heart from skipping a beat when he sees Anamika.
Rahul, the high society Adonis wants nothing to do with the gauche, middle class weirdo who’s following him around. Until she moves into his league…
Laugh out loud at Anamika’s antics and follow her on the roller coaster that is her life!

Book Links:
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55354240-anamika-khanna-falls-in-love
Amazon – https://amzn.to/32BkKFR

Meet Vikram Lobo

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

I’d choose to be with Anu. She’s the sun and the stars and the reason for my heart to keep pumping. We’d probably go to Coffee Day – I’d have an espresso and she would order a frappe. And of course, she would realise she’s broke and I’d pay and she’d try to calculate how much this amount plus all the frappes of the past would total to!

If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?

I would spend the day with Alistair MacLean – the writer. He’d teach me how to research a book and how he turns simple sentences into stories that come to life before your eyes. And He’d tell me about his Marie – the one in all his books!

What is your idea of perfect happiness? And, what is your current state of mind?

I would be the happiest man in the world if Anu realises Rahul is a stuck up ass and forgets her stupid infatuation. 
Right now, I’m wondering why she can’t see the love shining in my eyes? She’s such a beautiful,   fiery, crazy girl – I just can’t stop loving her. I try to chat with other girls and respond to their flirting, but my heart just isn’t in it.

What do you consider to be the most overrated virtue and why?

Honesty is overrated. If I tell Anu how much I love her, she’ll stop being my friend. It’s better to lie than risk not having her in my life. Also if I tell her what a dirtbag Rahul really is, she’d never believe me. In her eyes, he can do no wrong and I’m just not being supportive.

Tell us 3 things about yourself that the readers do not know about

– I also stalked Rahul once just to see if I was taller than him – and I am! Take that, you arrogant Richie Rich!
– I’m even ready to join Dad in his sanitary ware shop if that means I can have a steady income to support Anu.
– I’ve begun writing a romance novel (under a pseudonym, of course!) – a far cry from the violent detective stories I always write. 

About the Author:

Words have been the centre of Shraddha’s existence for as long as she can re-member. Fed up with her constant demand for books, her parents asked her to write her own. And so, it began!

She’s an ophthalmologist with a specialisation in Glaucoma. She juggles her profes-sional demands with her new label of tennis mom and the larger than life charac-ters that live in her mind, demanding to be manifested.

She has written A Doctor in the House (Partridge), A Great Fall (Juggernaut) and The Case of the Counterfeit Currency (Mango Books) and also has an anthology of poems (F.I.S.T) (Pothi Books)

Shraddha finds herself attracted to stories about women – strong ones, funny ones & kick ass survivors. Her self-deprecating humor tends to stay with you long after you’ve shut the book.

Author Links:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorshraddhasahi

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/shraddhavs

Instagram – https://instagram.com/shraddhasahi

Youtube channel – https://bit.ly/3jUMCL9

Guest Post by Amy Lara

I frequently host guest posts on my blog by various authors. This article is especially interesting to me, because I have worked for numerous greenhouses and have had a garden ever since I can remember. I hope you enjoy!

Kitchen GardenTips: For a Productive Vegetable Garden

Kitchen Garden ideas equipped to give you creative gardening movement thoughts for a wonderful garden. Whether or not you’re a veteran or a complete learner, turning into your own sometimes needs inspiration. Something to get you or your family anxious to start (or continue) building up your own nourishment. By moving yourself to a creative gardening adventure every month you’ll put some fun into building up your-own understanding.

Kitchen gardens are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Kitchen gardens can be just as creative and attractive as flower gardens.  Please have a look at some tips you need to follow to create the best kitchen garden at your home. 

Garden Ideas for Beginners

Growing your own vegetables can seem, by all accounts, to be overpowering for an amateur. You may ponder seeds, soil, or how to attempt to deal with plants. Conceivably you’ve killed a movement of houseplants and offhanded suggest yourself as a Brown Thumb. Have certainty that making sense of how to develop nourishment is a capacity that can be instructed. All you need is some inventive kitchen garden musings to kick you off. The endeavors underneath are both captivating anyway plausible for learners. 

Review that everything plants require to live. If you give them their fundamental essentials of enhancements, water, protection, and light then you’ll see a procure. You’ll give indications of progress after a little experience.

What to Grow

The most huge thing to review when planting in compartments is that the establishments of the plants can simply go down as of not long ago. Guarantee your holders are significant and wide enough to oblige your vegetables. For example, by far most of my vegetable compartments are around 12 to 14 inches wide and 10 to 12 creeps down. Significance is especially critical when developing root vegetables, for instance, potatoes. 

While carrots and tomatoes develop well together in a comparative compartment, the squash ought to be developed in its own diverse pot – it’s a mind-boggling feeder that requires heaps of excrement various plants don’t. As its plants develop, it can smother out various plants and shield them from moving past the seedling point.


Be productive

Right when you simply have obliged garden space to work with, pick plants that will give you immense yields in a little region. Various vegetables and spices have moderate cultivars that are genial and ideal for little gardens. (See our summary of Ten Great Space-Saving Edibles).

Come back for more

Various kinds of garden greens will deal with all of you through the developing season if you procure them reliably. These “cut-and-come” vegetables keep giving by developing new leaves when the outside leaves are cut off. Models join free leaf lettuce, chard, kale, collard greens, mesclun, and escarole. A few combinations like Serving of blended greens Bowl and Red Salad Bowl are remarkable for compartments or any little space. As opposed to letting the lettuce head up, you can pick the outside leaves tenaciously”.

Make priorities

In a small garden, you have meager space to analyze or plant crops that will go to squander. Make needs by planting what you love, what’s stand-out, and what will thrive. Additionally, plant what tastes best recently picked.

Create an edible landscape

Consumable completing is an imaginative and engaging response for developing vegetables in a front yard or distinctive clear territory. Try mixing elaborate vegetables and spices into the suffering garden or crease them into compartments. They can similarly be engaging isolated, especially in case you join various tints and surfaces.

Making Your Own Compost

Peat greenery or fertilizer is crucial to adequately develop, overpowering dealing with plants. Making your own fertilizer isn’t simply smart, it’s normally pleasant – and extremely straightforward. 

It takes around three to a half years to get a usable fertilizer. The best way to deal with remain mindful of a specially designed fertilizer container is to keep a little bowl on the kitchen table to assemble scraps and dump it into the canister when it gets full. For non-nourishment scraps, for instance, cardboard and paper, keep a waste container by the gateway in the kitchen.

Garden in shed

A garden site that gets as not many as two hours of direct daylight daily can grow vegetables. A garden that gets just dappled daylight during the day can grow vegetables. 

Vegetables grown for their leaves and roots are the best decisions for obscure gardens. Plates of mixed greens, for example, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and celery can be grown in concealed gardens. Roots yields, for example, beets, leeks, potatoes, and turnips can be grown in obscure gardens. Shade Structures are the best way to get a shed for a garden, they are easy to install and cost-effective. Metal Buildings are best sheds for small kitchen gardens.

Vegetable crops need shade to grow well

Brussels sprouts, cabbage, arugula, New Zealand spinach, beets, broccoli, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, celery, chard, corn serving of mixed greens, endive, escarole, horseradish, kale, garlic, leaf lettuce, leeks, carrots, peas, mustard, parsnips, potatoes, salsify scallion, radishes, turnips, rutabagas, cauliflower, roan, spinach, and watercress.

Go creative 

Retracting Window Garden

This is splendid for the city! In the event that you don’t have grass or even a gallery, you can make a withdrawing garden that secures to your window outline. Let it down to get some daylight and pull it up when it’s an ideal opportunity to water.

Hanging Container Garden

Who says hanging crates are just for blossoms? Plant a grouping of your preferred herbs and little vegetable plants, similar to tomatoes, and you have a small garden that requires close to no exertion.

Author Bio: 

Amy Lara 

Amy writes for topics like Home Improvement, Kitchen decor, Garden or travel-related topics additionally; he has a passion for the metal building industry for more than ten years, Amy has become an experienced building specialist in this industry. His goal is to help people with his vast knowledge to assist them with his best suggestions about different Metal Buildings such as Metal Carports, garages, barns, utility buildings, and commercial structures.

Release Day Blitz – My Heart’s Regret

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About the Book:

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Samaira Reddy, the girl in the big house, the Bade Sahib’s daughter, only wants one thing and one person…a life with her childhood sweetheart, her Rags.

Raghav Cherukuri has always been known as the driver’s son. And has also always loved his Sam, the girl he can never have and never forget. And so, he leaves her and his life in Hyderabad behind.

But now, Raghav is back. A Chief Officer in the Merchant Navy, he is the success he’s always wanted to be. And yet, he has failed.

Samaira is meeting the ‘perfect groom’ her family approves of…A man whom Raghav can never be.

Can it finally be their time to be together? Or has their happy-ever-after passed them by?

This novella was previously part of the anthology Something Old Something New.

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon

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Read an Excerpt from My Heart’s Regret:

“Why did you leave?” The question shot out of her taking them both by surprise. They stared at each other, a wealth of memories flooding the space between them. Years of hurt, months of pain and a million unspoken words crowded around them.

“Don’t.” He turned away from her, shaking his head. “Don’t do this.”

“Why not? You don’t think I deserve any kind of explanation?” 

He opened the rear door of the car in response. “Are you ready to go home?” 

“Home?” She laughed, a bitter sound that floated in the air. “Is that still home to you?”

“Are you ready to go back to your home?” The slight emphasis felt like a slap across her face.

“And that’s the truth of it, isn’t it?” She watched his face for a clue to his feelings. She found none. He was as stone-faced as ever.

“You don’t think of it as home anymore. When you left, you didn’t just leave to study and start your career. You left everything behind. Your home. Your past. Your…”

“Yes.” His acceptance cut her off mid-rant. “I left it all behind. The poverty. The insults. The humiliation. I left my life here behind.”

“Is that all you left behind?” The words sliced through the night like a knife.

Raghav just stared at her, his eyes a cauldron of bottomless emotion. On a growl of frustration, she slid down from the car and stomped towards the door he still held open. Yanking it from his hand, she slammed it shut. Then she walked around the front of the car to the passenger door and got in.

A storm was coming. A loud rumble of thunder could be heard and the wind was picking up outside the car. It blew a lock of his unruly hair into his eyes. 

He didn’t notice but she did. Even through the tears stinging her eyes, she noticed everything about him. 

Raghav continued to stand, motionless by the rear door, his tightly clenched fists the only evidence of the emotion raging inside him. The first drops of rain started to pelt down drenching him in seconds.

Finally, he moved towards where she was sitting. Leaning down, he rapped on the window to get her to put it down.

Samaira obliged, arching an eyebrow in challenge.

 “Get out.” The words were gritted out through clenched teeth.

“No,” she snapped the word out.

“Go sit in the back seat.”

“No,” she said again as she settled more comfortably into the seat. 

“Sam, if someone sees…”

“Let them.” She couldn’t care less.

“Sam, please.” The plea was quiet, but it sliced through. “For my father’s sake.”

Her heart broke at the words. She swiped at the tear that escaped and rolled down her cheek. Without looking at him, she stepped out of the car and got into the rear seat. 

Raghav slid into the driver’s seat and put the car in gear.

They drove home in silence, each lost in their own tortured thoughts. It wasn’t long before her house loomed in front of them. 

They were almost at the gate when she spoke, “Are you happy?”

His hands tightened on the steering wheel. “Are you?”

She laughed. The mirthless sound echoed between them as Ahmed Chacha waved them through the gates. “You’re not going to answer any of my questions, are you?”

Raghav sighed. “What’s the point of this conversation? Discussing the past is going to bring us nothing but more pain.”

“Alright. Let’s talk about the present. Why did you come back?”

Raghav brought the car to a halt outside her front door. “I came back for my parents.”

“Never for me,” she murmured. “You left me without a second thought.”

Raghav, who was holding her door open, froze at the soft words. She stepped out of the car and around his still form. She wasn’t going to beg him for answers anymore.

“The thing is, Sam,” the whisper reached her through the violent noises of the stormy night, “You left me first.”

About the Author:

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Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.
Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter

Guest Post by Allin All

I frequently post articles written by other authors, and here is another example. Although it is off topic from what I usually post, I have a sincere interest in real estate and remodeling, since I have a fixer upper. I hope you enjoy this article!

  1. Why Choose Dark Wood Flooring?

You want your home décor to be timeless. Isn’t it? Elegant flooring enhances the aesthetics of your home. It’s also important that you avoid home decorating cliches. So, when choosing floors for various rooms of your house, you need to make sure that they complement your space. Also, the wooden stair nosing should perfectly match the flooring.

When creating a luxurious space, high-end choices are important. Wooden floors add a rich look to your home. Dark flooring helps to add dramatic effect and if you use matching wooden door bar, it will look amazing. The darker floor looks modern and edgy.

Why Choose Dark Wood Flooring

There are many benefits of using dark wood floors. Here we have outlined why darker wood floors are better over lighter ones. Keep reading.

Complement Your Decor

Dark wood floors along with self adhesive door bars, can complement any type of interior design. They can enhance the style of your home décor. The dark shade goes well with the interiors of any of your rooms due to its versatility. They can effortlessly make a style statement.

Don’t Fade Easily

Dark shade floors don’t fade easily when exposed to sunlight. They are super easy to maintain than the lighter shade floors. They last longer without getting pale and look fresh without doing much efforts.

If you are looking for premium quality floor accessories within your budget, All in All is your one-stop-shop.

Ideal for Large Spaces

Yes, dark floors are perfect for large rooms. They lend a personality to space and make the room look compact and proportional. This type of floors absorb more light and hence have the ability to look enclosed.

Easy to Maintain

Dark flooring is hassle-free to maintain as they can hide marks and scratches. You don’t need to clean your room every day if you have less time as the dust and grime will not be visible.

Add Drama

When you use dark floors, wood grains show off, lending an aesthetic appeal. The natural effect of the wood is more visible in darker shades than the lighter ones. The dramatic effect looks stunning and makes your space welcoming.

Contrasting walls and furnishings improve the aesthetics much more than the light coloured flooring. It looks refreshing and helps in creating a transition.

So, now you know why dark floors are better than the lighter ones. All in All is your go-to store to find matching floor accessories for your space at competitive prices.

Mississippi Flag Debate

After being a Mississippi resident for several years, I developed a fondness for the people, the landmarks, and yes, even the state flag. I thought it was amazing that Mississippi citizens cherished their flag so much that they voted to keep it. But recently, state lawmakers took it upon themselves to get rid of the flag, calling it racist (which I don’t agree with). The following article shows how Mississippians are not happy with this move at all.


Organizers of a group called Let Mississippi Vote said that they are starting an initiative to put the retired flag and three other flag designs on the statewide ballot.

“What the legislators did, in my opinion, was 100% wrong,” said the group’s leader, Dan Carr. “We should give the people of Mississippi the right to vote on this flag.”

Getting any initiative on the ballot requires signatures from more than 106,000 voters, evenly distributed among the five congressional districts Mississippi used 20 years ago. Most initiatives fail because organizers fall short in gathering signatures.

Petitions for this initiative could hit the streets in a few weeks, after required paperwork by the secretary of state and attorney general. The signature-gathering process could be complicated by social distancing recommendations during the coronavirus pandemic.Even if this initiative gets to the ballot, an election could be a year or two away. And, Mississippi might have a new flag before then.

A commission is already working on a flag design that, by legislative mandate, cannot include the Confederate battle emblem and must have the phrase, “In God We Trust.”Under the law that retired the old flag, the lone design that commissioners recommend will go on the ballot this November. If voters accept the design, it will become the new state flag. If they reject it, the commission will come up with a new design that will go on a later ballot.

For now, Mississippi is a state without a flag.

(Article courtesy of Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Aug. 21, 2020 ed.)

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