Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Lost Saint Giveaway!

Hi! If you celebrate Christmas, then I hope you had a wonderful time and happy holidays and winter season for the rest. Happy New Year to everyone as well!

Today is the release of The Lost Saint which is the sequel by Bree Despain so I wanted to celebrate by starting off the new year with a contest! I received The Dark Divine for review and an ARC copy of The Lost Saint for giveaway (I'll be posting my review of it soon). A huge Thank You to the publisher who sent me a copy for this contest and a bottle of nail polish as well.

I can only ship within the United States (sorry international readers!).

This contest will end the 21st of January, 2011

There are extra entries included in the form. One winner will get both the ARC of The Lost Saint and a pretty bottle of blue nail polish made for the occasion!

Please fill out
this FORM here style="color:#c0c0c0;" style="color:#99ff99;">. I can't figure out how to embed it for some reason >.

Review: The Dark Divine

Author: Bree Despain

Summary: (back cover) Grace Divine--daughter or the local pastor--always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.

Now that Daniel's returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother. As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.

Review: A wonderful book. Although readers may be wary of the religious angle the book seems to have, I think that without it, there would be no story.

Religion is a part of who the characters are and it explains a lot about the storyline later in the book. Grace Divine is a realistic character. She is strong and individualistic, but she is also dependent on certain aspects of her world. Her flaws are human and Grace learns to look inside herself for the answers she seeks.

The storyline moved quickly along making sure that the reader stays hooked by the tale. Daniel is an interesting well-rounded character and a part of Grace's family. Paranormal fans will enjoy it.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4 5

The sequel The Lost Saint was released today! Look for a giveaway of the ARC and a bottle of blue nail polish in its honor.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Blog Tour: Out For Blood + Giveaway

Author: Alyxandra Harvey

Summary: (back cover) Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, begin to see the differences between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends--or even more. When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra...help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?

Review: This is definitely my favorite out off the series so far. The chemistry between the two main characters seemed more natural and the way the romance developed had the characters acting realistically with each other. As realistic as it can get when a vampire hunter and a vampire are placed together.

Definitely full of action and fights that left me feeling breathless. This book has the most likable characters I think. Even though Quinn is a player, he doesn't keel at the sight of Hunter, instead he slowly lets go of himself and this progress is what makes the story natural.

Hunter is a very strong female lead, but she isn't paranoid like Isabeau was in the second book. Her age is apparent because she acts like herself and she also manages to be quirky and witty without being obnoxious. Hunter is a very well-rounded character who holds herself in first place and takes other's opinions seriously, but not too seriously.

Overall, if you enjoy vampires, romance, or short action filled tales, then the Drake Series is definitely for you! :) Enjoy!

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

Alyxandra Harvey is coming out with a different story! Here is the link to read an excerpt of Haunting Violet! Definitely sounds exciting.

Giveaway Rules: (Out For Blood book and bookmark)

Only US addresses and no PO Boxes

Please fill out the form to enter :)

Extra Entries:

+2 - follower
+1 - posting contest on your sidebar or networking site like twitter or facebook
+3 - Actual Blog Post or Contest round-up sort of thing (please leave the link)

Contest ends January 9th, 2o11 that's next year!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Review: Hearts At Stake

The Drake Chronicles Book One

Author: Alyxandra Harvey

Summary: (back cover) Solange Drake always knew she was destined to become a vampire queen. And as the only female vampire ever born, not made, she is surrounded by danger on all sides--from vampire suitors who want to join with her lineage to bounty hunters who are set on destroying her and her family When she is kidnapped, it's up to her oler brother Nicholas and her human best friend, Lucy, to save her. But can Lucy save herself from Nicholas, who tempts her with his every look? And what will be Solange's own fate if she surrenders her heart to the vampire hunter helping her survive the deadly intrigue at the royal court?
Let the Drake family be your guide into a secret vampire society full of epic battles, gothic seduction, undead drama, and wicked humor.

Review: It started out a bit slow as introductions were made and background explained, but I was surprised at how good the story got really quickly. Although it was relatively short, there was plenty of action.

The fighting scenes were cool and Lucy's quirky personality made this vampire book unique and satisfying. Although vampires are a bit overdone, I know that a good story can make me fall back in love with them and this book created a new platform to set the story on.

The ending was packed with stuff and I felt that it could have actually been dragged out a little more because it left me a little shell-shocked while the middle could have been condensed a bit and only the main characters were well developed. This is perfectly okay and even preferable because it is a series and the rest of the books delve into the other characters making them feel fresh and excitingly different.

At first, I was very skeptical about how I would handle alternating points of view because I've read quite a few books where instead of enhancing the story, changing characters actually detract. It felt like that at first with Hearts At Stake, but quickly evened out and started to feel like a natural part of the book.

Overall, it was a pleasant read and Lucy's over-the-top character balanced by Solange's solitary one created a cute story. Hope you enjoy!

Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5

Friday, December 10, 2010


Sorry for being missing around here for a while. I should be back up and reviewing now that my college applications are mostly done, at least until I decide to start on scholarships, ugh. Although my reviews have been sparse, I've read quite a few books which you can expect a review of sometime soon such as Liar, Wintergirls, Morpheus Road, GhostGirl Lovesick, The Dark Divine and a couple others.
I'm going to be participating in a blog tour for Out For Blood, a Drake Chronicles series book by Alyxandra Harvey and there will be a giveaway with bookmarks thanks to the publisher! I'm excited and it will be up next Saturday!
I'm also going to put up a giveaway for maybe the Dark Divine and the Lost Saint nail polish or something so watch for that pretty please!
Thanks for reading and know that this space has been a stress-reliever due to the blogger community. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Author Interview: H. A. Goodman

Hi everyone! H. A. Goodman is joining us today for an interview and I'd also like to ask you readers to look for my upcoming review of this author's book titled Logic of Demons.

1. How much time did it take you to research demons (if you did any research)?

When writing Logic of Demons, I wanted to give readers the opportunity to think about broad themes pertaining to good, evil, and how actions speak louder than words. Time travel always intrigued me, so I decided to have Devin, Natalia, Nadine, and other characters in my novel learn valuable lessons from historical events first hand.

In Logic of Demons, characters travel through time and space and are transported into the Rwandan Genocide, the Iran-Iraq War, and other dark chapters of human history. In addition, issues like human trafficking and even teen bullying are also talked about. Overall, I spent many months researching these issues. Much of the novel is also based on my prior knowledge of these events from my studies at USC, personal experience (being bullied by older kids when I was young, for example) and just reading magazines like the Economist, Time, and Foreign Policy.

2. What gave you the idea to write about demons?

I used to know people who actually believed that demons and angels fly around us, and that these mystical creatures actually have the ability to affect our decisions. When I observed how some of these brainwashed people behaved, I realized very quickly that “demons” and “angels” are sometimes just excuses for human beings to act a certain way. To some people, a “demon” will be the cause of negative behavior like violence, gossip, or hurting someone you love. But, in reality, it’s the person you see when looking into a mirror who decides what actions you take. Every human being has the capacity to do tremendous good and help others, or untold evil. It’s difficult sometimes, but the choice is always our own, not some made up “ghost,” “goblin,” or “demon.”

I wanted to write a novel that gives people the ability to see the consequences of their actions on a global scale, which is why Logic of Demons references several historical events.

3. Team Unicorn? Or Team Zombie? (I myself am rooting for unicorns)

This is an interesting and thought provoking debate. Unicorns are undoubtedly beautiful, ethereal, and storied creatures. But, I never understood what kind of powers they possess, aside from being the embodiment of goodness. What do they do that’s cool? I’m must admit, I’m ignorant as to the magical abilities of unicorns.

This is why I’d have to say Team Zombie. I’m not entirely into Zombies, but I would probably root more for them than unicorns. Although I would rather be standing closer to a unicorn than a zombie, for some reason I must lean towards Team Zombie. Maybe it’s the 80’s horror movies I grew up.

4. What is your favorite fruit (or veggie if you don't like fruit)?


5. What do you wish you'd get asked more often in an interview?

Well, this is technically my third interview. So, first off, I’m honored that you’d ask me anything at all. I guess I don’t have a question in mind, I’m just happy that readers seem to like Logic of Demons and I have the privilege to speak about the novel.

~Thanks for sharing and all of you have a wonderful day~

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Song: Bbiribbom Bberobbom

Artist: Co-Ed

About: This is a new group consisting of four female members and six males. I absolutely LOVE this song. The song is super catchy, the video is very colorful and a couple of the dance moves are addicting. Its super happy-making and while the winter gray is bringing me down, I know that this song will pick me back up! I know, I'm gushing, lol :)

MV: Credits go to ywertsdfgh for subbing the music video.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: The Invisible Order: Book One: Rise of the Darklings

Author: Paul Crilley

Summary: (inside flap) Some things, once glimpsed, can never be unseen...

It was a morning like any other, frigid and gray, when Emily Snow took to the streets of Victorian London to earn the pennies that would keep her and her little brother alive for another day. But a chance turning took her through a dark alley, where she witnessed an extraordinary battle between fierce creatures no taller than her knee.

Emily can see into another world. And once she sees it, she cannot turn away; once engaged, she must join in the latest battle in a war that has been waged for centuries. Doing nothing is not an option, for the Invisible Order--a secret army dedicated to preserving our world against the creatures of Faerie--knows about Emily, and its members will do anything to control her. For Emily, her brother William, and their friend, the street thief Spring-Heeled Jack, this winter morning is a turning point, and hereafter their lives will be entwined with the Invisible Order, and with a battle to save our world from the forces that are out to destroy it.

Review: Although this book is geared toward younger readers (Ages 10+), I found it extremely enjoyable. I think that this could be a series that all age groups enjoy.

Never had a fairy tale had me so hooked as this one did. I loved and hated and then loved Emily Snow throughout her journey. Even though her parents' mysterious disappearance forced her to shed her childhood, she still retains her child-like qualities in the story. There is even more growth as she matures mentally. There were some moments where I felt she was too strong of a character considering her age and the responsibility she has to take care of her younger brother William. Emily is only twelve after all.

There were definately some really funny moments in this one courtesy of Corrigan who is probably my favorite character. It's a close tie between him and Jack.

The ones who were supposed to be scary were villainous and the "good" ones were mostly good. There were some parts where the lines of allegiance blur and tough decisions are to be made by Emily who holds more information than she even knows.

Did I mention there is time travel? And it's in London? And that I loved this book? Well I said it. And I have a feeling that Emily's next adventure is going to be just as amazing as this one. Let's join her for the ride, shall we?

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

Monday, November 15, 2010

Author Interview: Christine E. Schulze

Hello readers! I'm very happy to bring you an interview today with author Christine E. Schulze who has written many middle grade and YA books. We have a lot to talk about so lets get to it! :)

Mixturesbooks: How many books have you written?

Christine: Oh, goodness; I stopped counting past thirty, to be honest! Used to have an exact number, but I’ll have to recount sometime. Originally, I meant to twenty-seven books comprise The Amielian Legacy, which is basically a collection of series and individual books which all connect in some way or other, though all definitely do not have to be read to understand them. If you decide to read them all, there are rewards, sort of like finding “Easter Eggs” in video games, but again, this isn’t necessary. It would be quite a compliment for someone to read all my works, but some are quite different than others and might not be enjoyed by all. But, yes, going back to the question, I think I’m at around thirty-three, still counting, and still writing!

MB: Out of those ones, which one would you say has been your favorite to write or read?

Christine: This is a TERRIBLE question. Lol, only because, as you see, I have so many. The Gailean Quartet is certainly a favorite series of mine. Comprising four books, it combines music, magic, and epic adventures to create a unique fantasy world. It was inspired by a favorite teacher of mine, Dr. Gail H. Fleming, who teaches at Southwestern Illinois College. I’ve taken Music Appreciation, World Music, and Choir with her; all classes were fascinating and you learn loads. Of course, I love classical music, but she makes the classes enjoyable for everyone, even those who don’t like classical music so much. Being in her classes really helped me out when I was going through some hard times at home, and the choir especially provided much inspiration.

MB: What are you currently reading (if you are reading)?

Christine: Ugh, so, I know I am supposed to be reading something as a writer; but I really write too much to read that much anymore, because I am so inspired! However, one of the last books I read was Quest for Celestia. As a Christian, I love Christian fantasy like The Chronicles of Narnia. Celestia was also Christian fantasy, a retelling of The Pilgrim’s Progress, to be exact. It was beautiful, especially at the end. Its message was that truth is the greatest thing, because you can love or put faith in the wrong things. But if you know the truth, the rest will follow. Of course, the book said it much more beautifully, but you’ll just have to read for yourself! Lots of great fantasy elements, adventure, and two great main characters as well.

MB: What is your favorite YA book or series to date? (I'm currently in love with Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices Series)

Christine: Again, I don’t read nearly as much as I should! So I am going to be a little cliché and name series like Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and Twilight. Okay, so maybe the first two at least are more classic than cliche. I also love books by Diana Wynne Jones, particularly Howl’s Moving Castle and its companion, Castle in the Air. Jones’ writing is so fresh, with such quirky worlds and characters, and you’re never quite sure where the story will go. I have read some manga that Aaron, a friend of mine—who appears in an uncanny number of my books as various characters—let me borrow. I really am enjoying Bizenghast; it has a dark fantasy feel like Nightmare Before Christmas or Pan’s Labyrinth, the latter of which is one of my favorite movies, if I may (though I also did have a crush on Jack from Nightmare as a kid and still think he sings exceptionally well for a skeleton). Chobits was another series I adored. For anyone looking for a bittersweet, gripping romance tale with such a pure, innocent girl and a crazy but good-hearted guy, Chobits is your pick.

MB: Can you write anywhere or is there a particular spot that seems to be more inspiring than others?

Christine: Well, to answer the first question, I can’t really “write” anymore like I did as a kid. Now that I’m prolific at using the computer, I must type since my ideas come so fast; I simply can’t stand to hand-write them anymore, save to jot down ideas to type into scenes later on.

My inspirations, however, can come from anywhere, from art to nature to other books to video games, to people—that last one is my biggest. Here’s some examples of some of my books and where I drew my inspiration for them from:

The Legends of Surprisers series was actually inspired from a series I wrote as a kid, Jonny to the Rescue. I came up with Surprisers when I was actually about five years old. I had these toys called “Surprise, Surprise, Puppy Surprise!”, little dogs and cats that came with a surprise outfit. I thought if they could wear clothes, they could do everything like people. Thus, my first definition of Surprisers was “dogs and cats that do everything like people”. Being older now, I took the concept, expanded it, made it a little more deep and complex, and now I have a brand new Christian fantasy series for middle grade readers.

Bloodmaiden and Black Lace are actually two of my books inspired by photography. I admit I have a small streak of vanity, and every now and then, I’ll come up with a cool idea for a photo shoot. Sometimes, the pictures turn out so awesomely that I must conjure an accompanying book! Bloodmaiden, my most recently published novel with Old Line Publishing, is such a book. I also have a series of anthologies. The first is Bloodmaiden: a fantasy anthology, published by Victory Tales Press. The second is Broken: A Horrifically Romantic Anthology, which I also hope to publish with them. The third will be Black Lace: A Darkly Epic Anthology. I haven’t even done the photo-shoot yet, but I can envision me and lots of black lace and maybe a piano—and I know it will inspire many an interesting tale!

The Last Star is a book I have not yet published because I’ve decided on it being the book I submit to agents, to try and get into a big publishing house. Its a middle-grade fantasy adventure, and it was inspired by many things. First off, Diana Wynne Jones’ Dogsbody. Now, I love Jones’ work for its rich, unique worlds and quirky but lovable characters. I haven’t gotten to read Dogsbody though I still desperately want to get my hands on a copy. But after reading only the blurb and first couple of paragraphs in a bookstore, I was hooked and knew I had to write a book with stars. Also inspired by Paper Mario, as well as my earth science class—we were learning about astronomy at the time—I incorporated many scientific terms like “blue stars”, “falling stars”, “white dwarfs”, and “supernovas”, while adding magical meanings and twists to these terms. It is quite the fun and unique read with a whimsical story and characters, as well as some educational value, though hidden beneath the magic.

Silent Hero is my first fan-based work, inspired by Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda. The Zelda games have actually inspired many of my books. When I created the world of Loz, for example, which appears in many of my books, I named the world thus as a tribute to Legend of Zelda; Loz is an acronym. I got this idea from Swiss Family Robinson and Robinson Crusoe, one being named similarly to the other because of one author drawing inspiration from another. Silent Hero, on the other hand, is a fan fiction, but I of course tried to write it as professionally as anything else I write. The only difference is, of course, it is not edited; however, it is available for free download on Smashwords, and quite a few of my readers have expressed enjoying the story and quality of writing. For this I’m quite grateful; especially when you get into a fan-based work, it can be easier to offend readers than please them.

MB: On average, how long does it take you to write a novel? Do you write frantically as ideas come to you or do you tend to map out your stories more?

Christine: To answer the first question, it’s hard to say, though I tend to write pretty fast when inspired. The Gailean Quartet contains four books, three of which are over four hundred pages each, and that took only about a year and a half to write. I just pumped out over fifty thousand words for Silent Hero in a matter of weeks.

The answer to the second question is: kind of both. Usually, I don’t sit down and try to make myself write in a structured manner. If inspiration strikes, I’ll start writing. That means I don’t write in order; if I’m inspired to write Chapter 3 and Chapter 1 isn’t even started yet, I’ll do it. However, before I really sit down to write a new book, I usually have to have the main plot planned out in my head or have a sense of where the book is going—unless I just think of a really awesome, random scene and then decide to write a book around it later. As a Christian, I believe my inspiration and gift of writing come from God, so when God gives me good ideas, I just go with it and usually end up with a great story pretty fast. I’m pretty good at thinking of interesting twists, ways to connect different books, intricate plots, and deep characters to add in once I have a main sense of where the book is headed.

MB: Are you currently working on another book? If it's a secret then can you tell us a bit about the last book you released?

Christine: Well, I actually have a finished book that I’m editing, one I’ve chosen as the book I will start sending out to agents when ready. It’s a middle grade fantasy called The Last Star. I was inspired to write this book by playing Paper Mario, reading the blurb and first few paragraphs of Diana Wynne Jones’ Dogsbody (still need to get my hands on that book), and by my love of astronomy; we were learning all about stars in Earth Science at the time. Here’s a blurb for the book:

There were no Stars that fateful night; they had all been extinguished, all save one:

the work of the Shadows had begun.

Thankfully, that work goes unfinished, for if all the Stars should ever go out in Novalight, that world and all within would come to an end. Hope remains solely in Olette, the last Star. As a Backwards Star, her Starfire, or life source, cannot be snuffed in like all the other Starfires. Can she, being the smallest and youngest of the Stars, take up the position of Blue Star and unravel the mysteries of Star Appointment? Can she help her new friends discover the truth behind their parents’ disappearances? Together, can they overthrow the Shadows before it is too late?

Combining astronomy with magic to create a unique mythology, The Last Star is also a tale of friendship and forgiveness, a classic story of light against darkness, and one which shows that even the smallest person can make the greatest impact.

Also, here’s a blurb for Bloodmaiden, my most recent publication with Old Line Publishing:

Zale. Gauthier. Varden. These three dynasties...

They all sound like something out of an ancient, oriental myth or fairy tale. The concept of humans and dragons helping and living in harmony with one another, without fear. To me, that's exactly what they are. A distant dream only read of, whispered secretly, quietly yearned for.

For, you see, I am the new Quelda of Tynan.

These words echo the mystery, horror, and romance found within Schulze's fantasy novel.

Along with her new husband, Chalom, Crislin must choose to embrace cruel tradition, run from it, or stand against it. The young couple's only hope is to rally the help of the three peaceful dragon dynasties of Sulaimon-but tradition is not on their side, even outside the realm of Tynan. The dragons outside Tynan's borders have been rumored as too stubborn and proud to believe their Tynanian brothers would commit such horrors as inflicted upon the Quelda. Gaining their aid is not a likely hope. Yet, any hope at all is valued in Tynan...

If they are to stand a chance of bringing cruel tradition to a permanent end, Crisilin and Chalom must brave the constant, consuming blizzards of the Ever-white. They must brave the three dynasties and the challenges awaiting there. Together, they must convince the dragon emperors to allow them access to the shrines which house the sacred Aria - protective strands of music which may be able to disperse the evil from Tynan and unite the four dynasties of Sulaimon as a whole once again. Their only aid stems from a sprite whose moods are as unstable as her magic, a young minstrel, and a mysterious fox. Despite the odds, such plans are daring, dangerous, unprecedented, but fully possible - if they can escape the Wall first.

MB: Is there anything else that you would like to add, Christine?

Christine: Yes; please consider reading some of my work, and if you like what you see, spread the news! Also, please stop by Goodreads to visit me sometime! Most of my works are available as both paperback and ebooks, though some aren’t. Still, for most, ebooks are a cheaper way of finding out if you like my writing. Just remember some of my works are for middle grade, others for young adult, and while one book might float your boat, another won’t, as I’ve experienced already from reviewers.

At any rate, you can find me at this link:


On Goodreads, you can read about each of my books, including reader reviews. You can also keep on the look-out for new releases and book give-aways.

That said, thanks very much to Isa for having me. To her and all her readers, God bless, happy reading, and thanks so much for reading!

Thank you for being here with us Christine! I'm really considering reading Chobits now since you found it nice. I haven't read stories like that in a while. I must say that BLOODMAIDEN has a pretty cool sounding storyline. Have a wonderful day and good luck with The Last Star, Christine! It was a pleasure :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In My Mailbox 2?

Hi everyone! In My Mailbox is a meme created by The Story Siren in which you can share what books you got for review, borrowed from the library or bought this week.

I usually don't participate in this meme, but this week I actually have something in my mailbox to share with you! :)

For Review:

The Drake Chronicles by Alexandra Harvey: Haven't started the books yet, but I'm looking forward to it!
- Hearts At Stake
- Blood Feud
- Out For Blood

The Invisible Order by Paul Crilley
Book 1 :Rise of the Darklings: I'm halfway through this one and absolutely love it!


- Torment by Lauren Kate: I'd recently bought Fallen, and after finishing it I borrowed this one from my school's library. I just finished this one yesterday.

- Two Flowers for the Dragon by Nari Kusakawa: This is a manga and I've already finished it, but I don't think that my library has the following volumes :(

~So what did you guys get?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Review: Star Crossed

Author: Elizabeth C. Bunce

Summary: (inside flap) High in the snow-covered mountains of Llyvyraneth, in a castle full of the country's elite, Celyn Contrare serves as a lady-in-waiting to shy young Merista Nemair. Her days are spent dressing in velvet and brocade, attending Lady Merista, navigating court gossip, and charming noblemen over lavish feasts.

And at night, she picks locks, steals jewels, forges documents and collects secrets. Because Celyn isn't really a lady-in-waiting; she's not even really Celyn Contrare. She's Digger, a sneak-thief on the run from the King's Inquisition, desperate to escape its cruel instruments and hatred of magic. If she's discovered, it will mean her certain death...

...But life as a lady-in-waiting isn't safe either. The devious Lord Daul knows her secret, and he's blackmailing her to serve as his personal spy in the castle. What she discovers - about Daul, about the Nemair, even about her own Lady Merista - could signal civil war in Llyvyraneth. And for a thief trained never to get involved, taking sides could be the most dangerous job yet.

Review: A valiant heroine, Celyn is an amazing character. Thieves, dark alleys, magic, political drama all play a part in making this book come alive.

I read Elizabeth C. Bunce's previous book, A Curse As Dark As Gold, and in liking the writing style, I decided to try this one out as well. I wasn't disappointed by this adventurous tale

The story started out kind of patchy. I felt that it would have been good if the author had defined "Sarist" earlier in the book because I was confused for bit.

All the characters were defined clearly. The storyline was really interesting. I didn't feel bored throughout any of it because of the action-packed writing, althouh the author used lots of descriptions. The good thing was that they were interesting to read and fun to conjure up.

Although the setting seems to be in olden tmes, the dialogue is modern for the most part which was beneficial in creating Celyn's independent character. The language was also successful in creating an alternate reality or world.

The entire story was consistent, mended together and wrapped up nicely in the end. I'm super excited for the sequel! It is going to be called Liar's Moon.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday 13

Hello everyone! Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at BreakingtheSpine so you can share what books you're looking forward to.

Title: Bitter Melon

Author: Cara Chow

Release Date: December 28th, 2010

Publisher: EgmontUSA

Summary: (goodreads) Frances, a Chinese-American student at an academically competitive school in San Francisco, has always had it drilled into her to be obedient to her mother and to be a straight-A student so that she can go to Med school. But is being a doctor what she wants?It has never even occurred to Frances to question her own feelings and desires until she accidentally winds up in speech class and finds herself with a hidden talent. Does she dare to challenge the mother who has sacrificed everything for her? Set in the 1980s.

My Thoughts: I feel like there aren't as many Asian books out there, so hopefully this one will be a good one. The cover is beautiful in my opinion. I've been fascinated lately by the Chinese-American experiences and the standards or stereotypes they are expected to live up to not just by other races, but also by their own parents.

I've read a couple other books like this one, which I loved and I'm thinking that even though this is a debut novel, it will be good also.

Other Books You Might Like: (I've actually read the below titles and can recommend them)

1. Ties That Bind, Ties That Break by Lensey Namioka
2. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
3. Step From Heaven by An Na

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Princess Trap

Author: Kirsten Boie


Life as a princess = a dream come true, right? Girl, please! Between palace rules, a mean queen-bee roomie at her posh boarding school, the ever-present paparazzi--and BTW, her unrequited crushing on Jonas--Jenna feels superstressed, and finds herself wishing she were a plain old nobody again. Which is why she tries to run away...only to get trapped in a scheme to overthrow her uncle, the king!

Major drama.

Suddenly--seriously?--Jenna must stop a civil war. When all she really wants is her first kiss!

Review: I think I liked this one better than the first one. Why? Jenna is maturing and this book delves a little deeper into seperation and bullying. I would definately recommend it to kids Age 10+ because they would be the most likely to relate to Jenna and her Princess status as well as understand some of the bad things Jenna is going through. Even though I'm a senior in highschool (yay me!), I still liked it, but I have to say that it isn't for everyone.

THe book is geared toward younger readers, but the political drama makes this one something new. I like reading not just about princesses, but the actual story and danger behind it. The Princess Trap portrays it's political side while still keeping the book about the main character. This installment is more believable and relatable than the first one and it also combines mystery and firs-love romance to round it out.

Having trouble finding a good book for an elementary or middle-school aged girl? If she's into princesses and murder plots, then I would suggest getting her this one for Christmas.

My sister is 14 already and she REALLY like this book too. :)

Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5

Other Books in the Series:

1. The Princess Plot (the first one)

*Gosh, I seriously love these covers for some reason*

Friday, November 5, 2010

Product Review Continued :)

I wanted to add to the review I submitted at the CSN website because it doesn't express just how excited I was on receiving this product. This is my first product review (aside from books) so I'm justified. :)

Here is when I got the package. It was huge and very heavy, thankfully the UPS person was very nice, because (trust me on this) I wouldn't have been able to get that inside the apartment...well maybe if I pushed it. Anywaaays...can you tell I'm excited? Ignore the pink thing please, it's my sister foot ruining everything. Lol.

Here is when I took off that top cardboard stuff. I was basking in all those styrofoam thingies. They are SO much fun to play with.
Ok, so the actual plates are coming, but would I really recommend this to my fellow bloggers and readers? I did get it in exchange for a review, but I would honestly recommend CSN STORES to most of you out there. They really do have some great products and loads of options especially for the upcoming Holiday season. There were a few things that I would like sold there too like make-up because I would buy that more and of course, books! But just in case someone on your gift-list isn't into those things, (like most of my people) then this online store is going to be really helpful. Thank you for reading and I hope I've been sucessful in my first product review! :)

P.S - I really wanted to take a picture of them with food, but I can't cook, so you would have been too distracted by the gross food to even look at the set. At least my gross food looks nice on the plates if you don't stare at it too long :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Review of Kon-Tiki 16 Piece Dinnerware Set in Cream

Originally submitted at CSN Stores

Edgy and exotic designs emphasize your unique style and set the tone for vivacious living. Naturally eye-catching with its highly reflective glaze and matte exterior finish, the vibrant square shapes of The Kon Tiki Collection are sure to captivate.

16 Piece Dinnerware Set Includes:


Looks Cute and Easy to Maintain

By Isa from Hillsboro, OR on 11/4/2010


4out of 5

Pros: Complete, Dishwasher Safe, Attractive Design, Good Food Capacity

Cons: Too Heavy

Best Uses: Daily Use, Decorative, Casual

Describe Yourself: Practical, Bargain Hunter

The set has texture, but even so it is still really easy to clean since you can just stick it in the dishwasher. I really love the faded design as it goes from dark wood to cream. The mugs are probably my favorite item with the appetizer plates a close second. They are a bit heavy, so that could be a possible flaw. I personally take it for sturdiness and feel like the set won't chip as easily as others I've had. I chose this product from the clearance center for review and I was surprised that it came with all the pieces and in perfect condition because usually clearance products are returned items which may be damaged or are flawed in someway. It was priced very cheap which is also why I was expecting some sort of defect in it, but that the product didn't have. The dinnerware has a wonderful design, texture, overall feel and (although I haven't tested to see how resistant) it hasn't chipped even though my family uses the set every single day.


Tags: Picture of Product


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Princess Plot

Author: Kirsten Boie


Jenna just won the starring role in a movie about a princess--sweet! In the wink of an eye, she's whisked off to the remte, romantic kingdom where the story takes place. But something's amiss: Instead of being on a shoot, suddenly she's being shot at!

The legit princess--to whom Jenna bears a suspiciously striking resemblance--has gone AWOL on her whole real-life royal gig, and soon Jenna's swept up in a treacherous rebel plot. Deal is, this is no dress rehearsal: The girl has got to act to save her life!

Review: It was sweet and cute, but also had actual politics in it. It touched lightly on racism and class status. It took on a country's conflict while still managing to tell Jenna's individual story. I wouldn't be inclined to say that it has major underlying themes, but it is a good story on tolerance for readers looking for something somewhat substantial, but very fun.

There were some serious parts and other parts weren't all too believable, but I think that the fantasticalness (is that a word?), of it all played well into the writing and storyline. I would recommend it more to middle grade readers, but YA lovers might still find this enjoyable if they are looking for a well-rounded read.

The end was a lot more engaging and exciting than the beginning, but overall it had a reasonable pace and good storytelling.

Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Follow That Mouse

Author: Henry Melton

Summary: Dot Comal loved her home, although the Utah ranching community of Ranch Exit was too small to call a 'town'. She had her horse, Pokey, and her father to care for, and Ned from the next ranch over was comfortable to be around when he showed up on his motorcycle. But things were changing. The animals, and even her father, were showing signs of a growing irrational rage. Only Watson Winekia, the old Paiute shaman, claimed any knowledge of what was happening, but he was too old and he expected Dot to heal the valley. She was at a loss, until a strange mouse led her to bigger secrets than she'd ever imagined, hidden below her feet. She had to wield mysteries hidden for decades, quickly, before her home town and everything she loved was wiped off the map!

Review: It was a science-fiction novel that I was reluctant to try out at first since I'm not too much into sci-fi, but I was surprised.

The plot was very unique and mind-boggling. This is kind of refreshing since there are so many mainstream books being pumped out right out that just regurgitate storylines. Although it is sci-fi, it didn't feel extremely fantastical or out there because it had a realistic set up. Dot's world didn't change overnight, but there were signs and clues which foreshadowed a bigger-than-her conflict.

I really liked the characters becuase I felt that they weren't stereotypical. Dot isn't some amazing superhero with unknown powers who is arrogant about her abilities. She works together with Ned Kelso and Carl to fix Ranch Exit's problems.

The conflict starts out seeming supernatural, but then it is rationally explained making it believable. The human mind is toyed with throughout the story and there is plenty of confusion in the characters about the truth and what they are being forced to believe.

Although the plot was great, the characters were unique and likable, and the writing was engaging from the very first page, there were a few rough spots. The "magic" being worked in the valley causes amnesia in the main characters several times and then they regain their memories. It is part of the plot, but it can get very hard to follow the story. Breaks could be easily missed, confusing the reader and the organization lacked a little something. As long as you pay attention and read it without putting it down long periods of time, it should be fairly easy to enjoy the book.

I would recommend it to Sci-Fi fans as well as those who love down-to-earth characters.

Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Don't Forget to Enter My Contest :)

Thanks to the publisher for allowing me to host a giveaway for Gemini Night by Bonnie Hearn Hill. The contest ends November 5th and I hope you will enter! Just leave a comment on the giveaway post. Thanks!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Winner of the Twin's Daughter

Hello everyone! My contest concluded on the 22nd of this month and I used random.org to choose the winner. It was #18 which was

Lauren @laurencrammedbookshelf

Congratulations and thank you for entering! I have already e-mailed the publisher, so you should be getting your prize soon. :)

Thanks to all the other participants and you can still enter my other contest for Gemini Night. I'm going to extend it until the 5th of November.

Also stay tuned because I'm thinking of holding another contest some time soon! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Song: Man Man Ha Ni

Before we get to the song, I want to remind you that I have two giveaways up so join, join, join! Thanks :)

Artist: U-Kiss

Language: Korean

About: This is one of U-Kiss's more recent songs and another one which I've fallen in love with. The beat is addicting and all that Pop just keeps getting better and better. I do wish that their dance was a bit more complicated, but their synchronization isn't too bad. Hope you guys enjoy this one too!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Secondhand Charm by Julie Berry

Author: Julie Berry

Release Day:October 12th. You can get it now!!!

Summary: (goodreads) In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . .

Review: A very charming tale indeed. My favorite character was definately the leviathan belonging to Evie. It was super cute and adorable and lovable and I really felt its emotions and feelings for Evie. I absolutely loved it!

The plot itself was kind of predictable, but I think the reader expects that. There were a couple of surprising twists on the usual fairytale, but the classic feel that they usually give off was completely preserved. The setting was very detailed, neat and perfect for the storyline as well as the characters.

The heroine of the book is a well-rounded person and is the one who ultimately saves the day. A refreshing touch to the usual "boy saves fair maiden" story. I hope you enjoy the books wittiness and peppy feel as much as I did. It really was a cleverly crafter, adventurously surreal fairytale!

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Giveway: Gemini Night


Author: Bonnie Hearn Hill

Summary: STAR CROSSED: GEMINI NIGHT finds Logan McRae home from Writers Camp with a new mentor, a new boyfriend, a possible internship with the brand-new and highly anticipated CRUSH magazine, and an even stronger belief in the authority of astrology. As usual, trouble catches up with Logan fast. With the help of her two best friends, Paige and Chili, Logan hopes to get a handle on everything before disaster strikes. Weighed down by a troubled heart and nasty rumors at school, it won’t be easy, but Logan’s has the stars on her side. Not only is Hill’s plot fast-paced and intriguing, but there are also interesting facts about astrology, excerpts from Logan’s “Fearless Astrology” handbook, and personality traits of each Sun sign. In addition, Logan writes a column that she hopes to be included in CRUSH, and the reader can enjoy her “CRUSHES” series, which includes information on how to catch the attention of each guy’s Sun sign.

Rules: Only US entries. The publisher will mail out the book to the winner. You MUST leave your e-mail, so that I can contact you if you win. To enter just leave a comment. :)

Extra Entries:

+1 for following
+5 for adding me to your blogroll

You can place all your entries in a single comment.
Contest Ends November 5th

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday 12

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. To participate post the logo and your own WoW then leave the link at the host's WoW. :)

Here's what I'm waiting for:

Title: In The Arms of Stone Angels

Author: Jordan Dane

Release Date: April 2011 by Harlequin Teen
Summary: (author's site) Two years ago, Brenna did the unthinkable. She witnessed the aftermath of a murder and accused her only true friend—the first boy she ever loved—of being a killer.

Now sixteen, Brenna returns to Oklahoma only to discover that Isaac "White Bird" Henry isn't in juvie. The half-breed outcast is in a mental hospital, frozen in time, locked in his mind at the worst moment of his life. And when Brenna touches him, she's pulled into his hellish vision quest, seeing terrifying demons and illusions she doesn't understand.

Feeling isolated and alone, she's up against the whole town, targeted by bullying former classmates, a bigoted small town sheriff, and a tribe who refuses to help one of their own. But when Brenna realizes she's as trapped by the past as White Bird is, this time she won't turn her back on him. She's the only one who can free them both.

Even if she has to expose her secret—a "gift" she's kept hidden her whole life.

Thoughts: Lately I've been reading darker YA novels filled with emotions, so this book looks like it'll be good to add to my to-read list. I just like the sound of it. :)

What Are You Waiting For?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Season

Author: Sarah MacLean

Summary: (back cover) "Seventeen-year-old Lady Alexandra Stafford doesn't fit into te world of Regency London--she's strong-willed, sharp-tongued, and she absolutely loathes dress fittings. Unfortunately, her mother has been waiting for years for Alex to be old enough to take part in the social whirlwind of a London season so she can be married off to someone safe, respectable, wealthy, and almost certainly boring. But Alex is far more fascinated by adcenture than romance.

Somehow between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get entangled in her biggest scrape yet. It's a mystery brimming with espionage, murder, suspicion, and love...."

Review: A lovely book that I recommend to anyone who loves a stubborn heroine, hot gentlemen, mystery and London most of all. This book was a pretty good read because of that and the writing was engaging. A lovely adventure and a nice book to read if you want to take a break from the paranormal that's taken over our shelves. :)

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

-If I rated covers, this one would probably fail- :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Song: Beautiful Hangover

Artist: Big Bang sings this catchy tune mixing the Japanese language with English. The best part of the song, in my opinion, is when T.O.P begins rapping. He has a truly amazing voice! :) Did I mention that all five members are Korean, but they are talented enough to sing in Japanese and English! This is absolutely my favorite band of all time, even though I'm not even Asian.

Language: Japanese/English

MV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMNblKdYUZg

I really like this song and its to get me, and you, in the giving mood for an upcoming contest. Heeheehee. :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Review and Giveaway: the Twin's Daughter

Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted


Summary: (goodreads) Lucy Sexton is stunned when a disheveled woman appears at the door one day... a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lucy's own beautiful mother. It turns out the two women are identical twins, separated at birth, and raised in dramatically different circumstances. Lucy's mother quickly resolves to give her less fortunate sister the kind of life she has never known. And the transformation in Aunt Helen is indeed remarkable. But when Helen begins to imitate her sister in every way, even Lucy isn't sure at times which twin is which. Can Helen really be trusted, or does her sweet face mask a chilling agenda? Filled with shocking twists and turns, The Twin's Daughter is an engrossing gothic novel of betrayal, jealousy, and treacherous secrets that will keep you guessing to the very end.

Review: I'm participating in a blog tour for bloomsbury and I hope you will be happy to hear that they have offered to give away a copy of this book to one of you! You just need to fill out the following document.

The summary is right about the twists and turns. Even I was confused by who was who and it was thrilling to find out that the ending wasn't what I had expected. I was surprised and usually I can predict the endings of most books. It is a perfect Holloween read with its dark atmosphere and intense murder plot.

At first, it was hard to get into because the setting felt a little forced. It takes place back in time where people wear ball gowns and go to dances. I love this type of setting! After the first two chapters, the story started to flow smoothly. Plot-wise, it was an excellent story. A murder mystery with a female heroine!

Another very important detail that the summary failed to mention was the romance. I think that for most girls, that is what we look for in our YA. At least, it makes the book that much more interesting. There was romance and a very believable one at that. Even though this book's main idea are the twins, it weaved in murder, romance, betrayal, and deportment classes in a very seamless format ending with a shocking climax. I suggest that you read it if you like books about mind games and such.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5

For the GIVEAWAY: It ends the 22nd of October.

The publisher will send the book to the winner, so I can't accept international entries. :(

Don't forget to leave your e-mail.