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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hell's Corner by David Baldacci

Hell's Corner by David Baldacci
Read by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy


I borrowed this book from my local library and played it on my iPhone. Since I drove over my iPod, I have to use my iPhone as one. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. This is the 5th book of  Camel Club. It's a story of John Carr now known as Oliver Stone. He's a former triple 6 assassin.

In this book, Oliver Stone is back in service. They gave him a card and he has a mission. He's supposed to go abroad to Mexico for a training before being put back in active duty. On the last night before his departure, he walked around his favorite park. Lafayette Park. This park is located across the White House. It attracts a lot tourist. That night, there were about 4 people in the park. Then an explosion happens which started the ball rolling into a fun and entertaining ride.

The bad guys is not what you think, the good guys is not what you think. Just when you think Oliver Stone's got it, it turns out to be wrong. I also get to know a little bit about the capital, and the area they called Hell's Corner. Yes, it's real, and this book gives you a fantastic tour of it.

With Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy reading the audio book, it makes for an extraordinary experience.Ron McLarty is a captivating reading. He is what I think Oliver Stone should should like. I have not read a single book of this series because I enjoyed Ron's rendition of the whole thing.

Have you read this series?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Highland Hero by Amanda Scott

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Forever; Original edition (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446574309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446574303
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
I love the setting of this book. It's 1401 in Scotland. The mother of the future King James just died and the king decided to send the child away for safekeeping. The king cannot stand up to his brother, the Duke of Albany. A trusted knight, Sir Ivor "Hawk" Mackintosh, comes to take care of the prince. The complication is, the prince's cousin, Lady Marsi Cargill,  decides to come along also to avoid the Duke of Albany.

Lady Marsi masquerades as a maidservant. She's not very good at it, and pretty soon, Hawk found out. Lady Marsi  is smart, spirited, but not always wise. Her mouth tends to ran away before she could think. Hawk is the opposite, which makes them a perfect compliment of each other. 

I get to see glimpses of Scotland as the group travels along trying hard to avoid capture by the villainous duke. There are moments of hilarity which makes this book a real pleasure to read. The conversation are witty, the events flow smoothly from one to another. It's very easy to get lost in the prose. Amanda Scott is a wonderful author. She's as engrossing as Jennifer Donnelly in her Rose trilogy, as Eloisa James in her Midnight series, as Paullina Simons in her Bronze Horseman trilogy.

I'm going to hunt for the first book in the series. I'm so thrilled to be reading Amanda Scott. Do you know of any author similar to Amanda Scott? Feel free to let me know. (review also published at amazon.com). Many thanks to Ms. Michelle at Hachette Books.

Books in the series:

Highland Master
Highland Hero
Highland Lover

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Slash and Burn by Collin Cotterill

  • Slash and Burn
  • by Collin Cotterill
  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Soho Crime (December 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616951168
Books in the series: 
The Coroner’s Lunch (2004) 
Thirty-Three Teeth (August 2005) 
Disco For the Departed (August 2006) 
Anarchy and Old Dogs (August 2007) 
Curse of the Pogo Stick (August 2008) 
The Merry Misogynist (August 2009) 
Love Songs from a Shallow Grave (August 2010)

This looks like a very interesting book. I'm so glad to get it. It's the first one in line that I'm going to read after I take my LSAT in December 3. I hope I only have to take the LSAT once. It's not like I'm a young girl anymore, after all.


From book jacket:

Laos, 1978: Dr. Siri, the national coroner of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, might finally be allowed to retire (again). Although he loves his two morgue assistants, he's tired of his job, which he never wanted in the firest place. Plus, he's pushing eighty, an dwants to spend some quality time with his wife before his untimely death (which has been predicted by the local transvestite fortune teller).

But retirement is not in the cards for Dr. Siri after all. He's dragged into one last job for the Lao government: supervising an excavation for the remains of a U.S. fighter pilot who went down in the remote jungle in northern Laos ten years earlier, during the Vietnam War. The presence of American Soldiers in Laos is a hot-button issue for both the Americans and Lao involved, and the search party includes high-level politicians and scientists. Then one member of the excavation party is found dead, setting off a chain of accidents that Dr. Siri suspects are not completely accidental. Everyone is trapped in a cabin in a jungle, and the bodies are starting to pile up. Can Dr. Siri get to the bottom of the MIA pilot's mysterious story before the fortune teller's prediction come true?
Just one of the many praises for the Dr. Siri Series:
Denver Post: "The sight, smells and colors of Laos practically jump off the pages of this inspired, often wryly witty first novel.

Collin Cotterill, the author

Thanks to Ms Rafferty of Soho Press for my copy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Amanda Scott and Margaret Mallory’s GREAT SCOTS & HIGHLAND HEAT Blog Tour

Two wonderful historical author grace my blog today. I asked both author two questions. These are very talented authors, and I'm very honored to feature then on my blog. Leave a comment, tweet the contest and post on Facebook. There will be two winners of these two books featured here. Contest open to US and Canada. Winners will be announced on December 8.


Ø When you're not writing about luscious hanky men, how do you occupy your time? 

Writing takes up most of my time! When I can, I love to read, watch movies, hike, and travel. I was very fortunate to be able to take an amazing trip to Scotland and visit many of the places that are in THE SINNER and the other books in THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS.

Ø What processes are involved when you conceive a book?

Because I write adventurous historicals, one thing I do is look for a period with a lot of conflict. For this series, I found exactly what I wanted in the year 1513, in the wake of the Scots’ disastrous loss to Henry VIII’s forces at the Battle of Flodden. With that historical backdrop, I could have my four Highland heroes return from France to find their king and chieftain dead, a rebellion brewing, factions fighting for control of the crown, and their clan in grave danger. What fun!

The next thing I had to do was decide on a clan for my Highland heroes. When I discovered that the first chieftain of the MacDonalds of Sleat had six sons by six different women and that the animosity among the six sons led to two generations of murder, I knew I had found my clan. J The hero and heroine and their romantic conflict are the heart of each book. Because all four heroes in this series appear in the first book, I already knew that Alex, the hero of THE SINNER, was a charming rogue dead set against being married. Naturally, I paired him up with a serious-minded heroine who is every bit as opposed to marriage, particularly to a known philanderer like him.


Ø Did you always wanted to write?

Not to write, necessarily, but I’ve told stories since I first began talking. I was the oldest of four kids and second oldest of a host of grandchildren (the oldest one being male), and that made me everyone’s babysitter of choice. I made up hundreds of stories in those days to entertain the younger children. We spent a lot of time on my grandparents’ ranch in northwestern California and at their cabin in the High Sierras. Neither place had TV, so we spent most of our time outside, playing games, and I made up many of them on the fly, although the others always added their ideas and fought to play their favorite roles. The lawyers in my family are all courtroom lawyers. If you stop and think about that, you’ll realize that they are all creative types, too, creating images and likely scenarios for juries. I’ve always liked to writer. However, I never expected to become “a writer.” The first chapter of my newest book, Highland Hero [Forever, Oct 2011] is posted on my website: www.amandascottauthor.com. If readers have questions or comments, they will also find a link there to my email, which is amandascott@att.net. I love to hear from readers, have learned a great deal from them, and I answer all messages.

Ø How did you get started and how long was it before your first book was published?

My husband was in the Air Force, a targets officer for the Strategic Air Command on America’s airborne command post, known as “Looking Glass” or “Doomsday Plane.” One of them was in the air 24/7 at that time. His job meant that he was ‘on alert’ for 2 or 3 days at a time, so to entertain themselves during their off-time on alert, the guys played poker. He is very good at poker. Meantime, I’d be home alone in our one-streetlight town near Omaha, reading my way through our tiny library and throwing books across the room because the authors had done so little historical research. He saw me do that one day and asked me why. I said, “I could do better than that myself.” He asked me if I’d like to write, and I realized then that I would, very much. I had already researched and written the text for the photo-essay book Omaha City Architecture, and I’d played with an idea for a historical novel since college, and even written some scenes. That weekend, he asked me if I REALLY wanted to write. When I said yes, he took me to the famous Nebraska Furniture Mart, chose a spectacularly beautiful leather-topped desk despite my insistence that it was far too expensive, had me ‘try on’ chairs and try out lamps until I found ones I liked, and then bought me the whole setup with his poker winnings and told me to get to it. NOT to have at least tried to write a book after that would have been a betrayal of the highest order. So I wrote The Fugitive Heiress and sent it to an agent, who sent it to an editor at Signet, who bought it. It took about two months from agent to editor to sale and a year for production before the book was on the shelves. That was 58 books ago. I’ve sold every manuscript I’ve written.
Good luck and have fun!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hear Ye. Hear Ye!

Just a head's up. Margaret Mallory is coming to my blog. There's an interview and maybe some goodies, too. Make sure to check on Friday the 18th. Have to mooch off my husband's computer. My internet is down. I hope to have it up by this afternoon.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

106 Most Unread Books

has nothing to do with the post, except that
it's a book and it's by Jodi Thomas
and it saved me from being extremely bored while waiting
at SAMS for my tires to be installed.
Hmmm, I found this on my 'draft list'

The below listed books are the top 106 books most often tagged as being unread by LibraryThing users (as of October 3rd).

The instructions are simple: Bold what you have read, and italicize books you have started but couldn’t finish. Add an asterisk* to those you have read more than once. Underline those on your TBR list (in my case this means I own them, but have yet to read them). The ones marked in red are books I am considering reading one day but do not have on hand.


I'm not sure if I would read the other books listed here which I haven't gotten around to before now. There's just so many new books that comes up. So unless I know how 'fabulous' a book listed here is, I'd probably just keep them in my TBR pile.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: A Novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Ulysses
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice*
Jane Eyre*
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife (awesome!)
The Iliad
EmmaThe Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner (awesome!)
Mrs. Dalloway
Great ExpectationsAmerican Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a GeishaMiddlesex
Quicksilver
Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales (I read assigned tales of this book for school many moons ago and never read beyond that)
The Historian (captivating)A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
Middlemarch
Frankenstein
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
1984
Angels and Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (wonderful!)
Dune
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s AshesThe God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-Present
Cryptonomicon
Neverwhere
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Dubliners
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Beloved
Slaughterhouse-Five
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake: A Novel
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Lolita
Persuasion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The HobbitIn Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Skywatch Friday, Season 5, Episode

Took this while driving my kids to school. I love the cloud cover...though too much white makes it spooky
Wires! I love wires on my picture. Yeah, it interferes with the clouds and skies, but I love it.
My children love to play in these playground. I usually drive them here and wait for them to finish playing. It takes two hours or more, and then they whine because we have to go home.
More skywatch here. Click on the pictures to see bigger size. All pictures taken with iPhone 4G.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: Welcome To Harmony by Jodi Thomas

  •  Welcome to Harmony
  • by Jodi Thomas
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English>br>
  • ISBN-10: 0425235106
"I've a vision," she announced. "A terrible vision, all black smoke and fire." (page 1)

Jodi Thomas is a masterful author who wield her pen like a fence master extraordinaire. She use words that portray her story to the maximum enjoyment of her readers.

Welcome To Harmony is her first book of the series. Here we meet a 16-year old runaway named Reagan. She works at a nursing home where a former resident of Harmony, Texas reminisce about her childhood hometown in a most favorable way. When that old lady passed away, she travels to Harmony.

"I'd wish, if I were reverse wishing, that I didn't have to leave this place." (page 21)

Reagan took a chance and went to the last living Truman in town, Jeremiah, the pretend great-uncle. He's quite crotchety, but he's also fair and caring in his own way.

While Reagan is the central character of this book, there's also hoards of secondary characters. There's the mayor who seem to have the hots for the sheriff. There's the funeral director and his very interesting love story. I

"Any chance you'd kiss me?"
"No," she answered. "But, I might snuggle a little. It's getting cold and I guess if you're tied, you'll be safe enough. (page 347)

It is nearly impossible to get bored with this book. There's romance, mystery and interesting residents of this town. What I'd really like to know is...will I know Reagan's love story when she's finally grown up? The saddest part about this book is it's only a trilogy. I'd want more. There's that many characters that I want to get to know more.

Other books in the Series:
Somewhere Along the Way
The Comforts of Home



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review: Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044655894X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446558945
     

I bought this book for Kindle after I finished reading Scandalous Desires. I was so captivated with that book as I have not been recently. In fact, the reduced number of books I've read recently can attest to my lack of interest to most books. But this one, it reminds me why I want to give up some of my sleep just to be able to read. Elizabeth Hoyt is costing me a lot of sleep!
Once upon a time, in a land long forgotten now, there lived a might king, feared by all and loved by none. His name is King Lockedheart....
I love how there's a fairy tale on each of the Maiden Lane Series. I'm pleasantly surprised because I'm not at all familiar with the ones Ms. Hoyt used in this series. This is better than fairy tale love story. In addition to happily-ever-after, there's this amazing chemistry between the two main characters. Note that I read the third book of the series before I got to the first one. It doesn't seem to matter to me. The story is excellent by itself.

Temperance Makepeace is a very capable lady with a devastating secret. She's living in atonement of that secret, her secret shame. Temperance and her brother managed an orphanage. Her family owns a brewery but they're barely making it. Still, it doesn't stop them from saving babies who needs saving. The foundling home is located in the bad part of town, so Temperance is familiar with the place.

The hero, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is well-known for his shocking sexual preferences. He doesn't like to be touched. He likes his partners tied when he's undergoing sexual congress. He need Temperance to guide him throughout the complicated passages of St. Giles in search of a killer of his previous mistress. Temperance cannot refuse since she needs the money for the rent and other necessities of the orphanage. Here their uneasy alliance started.

This book has excellent, hot, romantic interludes.  It's cleverly woven into the fabric of the story so it never felt contrived. My main complaint with erotica is it's  thick on sex and sparse on plot. This book could pass as erotica, but the romantic story dominates the book. The secondary characters are fascinating, I want to know more about them. I want to know more about Godrick St. John, Caire's best friend.

Overall, you will not regret picking up this book. The story and characters and finely crafted. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, October 28, 2011

400-Less Recipe In My Kitchen

Yep, this is the book. I got it from Sams.

I really wanted to love this book. But, there are too many fancy ingredients, it's hard to make anything without thinking that I'm missing it up because I don't have this hard-to-find spice. However, I keep this book anyway because I like to punish myself with looking over the beautiful pictures and torturing myself with lovely images knowing that I'm too lazy to hunt for these exotic ingredients so I can make my own.


Last Wednesday, I wanted to make a soup. However, there was nothing in my Complete 400 recipe book which I can make because of missing ingredients. I had just made a cheesecake, cookie dough, and other stuff. I really wanted to make a soup. I thought it over and decided to make one up. I know I like chunky soup, and I know I like onion in my soup. Lucky for me, I had some onions.

What I end up making was really edible and yummy. Here's what I put together.

1 med. onion, sliced into strips
2 med. baked potato, cut into small chunks
1 can diced tomato
4 stalks of celery
1 can white northern beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can cream style corn
1 cup of water
1 tbsp of dried parsley
1 tsp of dried Italian mix herbs
1 tsp of dried garlic (mined or powdered)
1 tsp seasoned salt
2 tbsp Olive oil

Heat oil, add onion and stir fry until it's translucent. Add potatoes, stir fry for 2 minutes, then add all the rest of the ingredients. Heat to a boil, stirring a little. Cool down, and serve with your favorite cracker or bread. The whole thing should be ready to serve in less than half and hour.

Serve it on a fancy bowl, and it's good for company too. It doesn't tasted like canned ingredients at all. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Loving Daylights by Lynsay Sands

Title: The Loving Daylights
Author's website: Lynsay Sands
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Isbn: 0505525275
Size: 4.4" x 6.6" x 1.3"
Publisher: Love Spell
Publication Date: 2003-04
I love Lynsay Sands vampire series. In fact, hers might have been the next series vampire series I read after Linda Lael Miller's vampire trilogy. This was way back before anybody was writing paranormal. Now, you cannot blink without seeing another paranormal novel. I haven't read this book, but when I saw the title, I just had to buy it. How could I not? It's now residing in my car for when I have time while waiting in the carpool line.

Don't you just like the homage to Austin Powers with that outfit? Have you read this book? If you had, please leave your link in the comments below. 
Product Description Shy Jane Spyrus loved gadgets. She could build anything B.L.I.S.S. needed in that international organization's fight against crime—although its agents weren't exactly queuing up at her door. Some of them thought her inventions were a little too ... well, innovative. Like her shrink-wrap prophylactic constraints, or her spray-on truth serum. But they just didn't realize those items' potential. Of course, you couldn't use wacky inventions to fix all your problems; Jane knew that better than anyone. Her neighbor had been kidnapped, driving that point home. She would have to team up with another human being—and Abel Andretti arrived just in time. He would help Jane find her neighbor, stop the evil machinations of tall Dirk Ensecksi, and most of all he would have to show her how to love the daylights out of something without batteries. .
If you want to know more about this book, check it out here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

PhotoHunt 288: High

Six Flags Ride
I like books, and I also like photos. Which is why I'm a regularly irregular member of Photohunt club.It has weekly theme, so it makes for a nice challenge each week. This one is from Six Flags Over Texas. I have never ridden this ride before, but only because I'm a scaredy-cat when it comes to heights.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review: Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt

Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane)
by Elizabeth Hoyt


List Price: $7.00
Published in 2011
ISBN-10: 0-446-55893-1
 My Take:
Books in the series:
Wicked Intentions
Notorious Pleasures
Scandalous Desires
Thief of Shadows (coming in 2012)

Yes, this is the 3rd book of Maiden Lane series. Having not read any of the book in the series before, I can honestly say that this could pass as a stand alone book. Some serial books are awkward to read out of order, but this one reads just fine. I was compelled to purchase in my kindle the other two books in the series.

I have never been entertained by a book so much before. Not since Eloisa James' Midnight series. I got that same feeling of giddiness while reading this book. The characters are pitch perfect. Yes, he's got a name like Charming Mickey and she's Silence...but it doesn't matter. Their story is the stuff of legends.

I thought I'd never like someone who's a pirate and a thieving 'prince' like I do Jennifer Donnelly's Sid in Winter Rose, but Charming Mickey comes close. If you have read those book series I've mentioned, then you'll know that Scandalous Desire is a book you must read if you're a romance junkie like I am. If you're not much into romance, then read this one anyway because it's got all that you need to be entertained in a book.

I'm thrilled to have read this book. Some parts are quite scorching. That's just extra icing treat. Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for my copy.   

By the way, a 4th book is coming and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. I like the sound of Winter Makepeace very much.


Here's what the back of the book said: 
Can a pirate learn . . .
River Pirate ‘Charming’ Mickey O’Connor has lifted himself from the depths of the slums to be the King of St. Giles. Anything he wants he gets—with one exception. Silence Hollingbrook has been haunting his dreams ever since she spent a single night in his bed.

That the only true treasure . . .
Once Silence was willing to sacrifice anything to save the man she loved. Now a widow, she’s finally found peace when Charming Mickey comes storming back into her life with an offer she can’t refuse. But this time she won’t be the only one paying the price for his sins.

Lies in a woman's heart?
When his past comes back to torment him, Mickey must keep Silence safe from a merciless enemy, while wrestling with the delicious hold this widow has on his heart. And in the face of mounting danger, both will have to surrender to something even more terrifying . . . true love.

Monday, October 3, 2011

GIVEAWAY + (review) What I Did For Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

  • What I Did For Love
  • by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • Hardcover: 401 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061351504
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of my all time favorite authors. I have to say that I read with my mood. And if the book doesn't match my mood, I enjoy it less. My first listen to this book on audio wasn't pretty. I couldn't stand Georgie York. I couldn't stand Bramwell, and I couldn't care less what happened to them. I find it hard to believe that a SEP book would not get my juices running, so I got  myself a paperback and read it. It's much better. I think sometimes the reader and I just don't see eye to eye on how a book should be read. This is a fun book. I have a much better time when I read the words for myself.

On that note, I'd like to do an all-over-the-world giveaway. $20 worth of books at Book Depository. If they deliver to your country for free, then you qualify. Drawing will be scheduled on October 27 (coz that's my 20th year anniversary).

That's not all. For every additional 40 entries, I will draw another winner for $20. Maximum winners of 5. I'll make this easy. Rafflescopter will help me sort your entries and pick winners.

From Amazon:
How did this happen? Georgie York, once the costar of America's favorite television sitcom, has been publicly abandoned by her famous husband, her film career has tanked, her father is driving her crazy, and her public image as a spunky heroine is taking a serious beating.
What should a down-on-her-luck actress do? Not go to Vegas . . . not run into her detestable former costar, dreamboat-from-hell Bramwell Shepard . . . and not get caught up in an ugly incident that leads to a calamitous elopement. Before she knows it, Georgie has a fake marriage, a fake husband, and maybe (or not) a fake sex life.
It's a paparazzi free-for-all, and Georgie's nonsupporting cast doesn't help. There's Bram's punk-nightmare housekeeper, Georgie's own pushy parent, a suck-up agent, an icy studio head with a private agenda, and her ex-husband's new wife, who can't get enough of doing good deeds and saving the world—the bitch. As for Georgie's leading man, Bram's giving the performance of his life, but he's never cared about anyone except himself, and it's not exactly clear why.
Two enemies find themselves working without a script in a town where the spotlight shines bright . . . and where the strongest emotions can wear startling disguises.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

(TBR Pile) Faro's Daughter by Georgette Heyer

borrowed from my eLibrary, read via Kindle  

Since I haven't had a chance to read this book, I borrowed an amazon review to titillate you and me. Review from Amazon by Jana L. Perskie "ceruleana" (New York, NY USA)
Deborah Grantham is well born, well-bred and ever so lovely. None of this matters, however, in the game of love and matrimony in Regency London, because Ms. Grantham earns her living playing cards in one of London's finest gambling houses. And marriage with such a gaming-house wench is just not done, especially not in the echelons of the "ton." Young Lord Maplethorpe is willing to flaunt society and risk its censure to marry the beautiful Deborah for love. His unhappy mother seeks help from her stepson, the handsomest, cleverest, richest man about town, Max Ravenscar. This unrelenting bachelor meets Deborah, his new foe, across the faro table where they play for power, although they wager for money.
And proud Ms. Grantham gives Ravenscar a run for his money as she proves to be more stubborn and high principled than he in this delightful romantic farce. Georgette Heyer writes one of her best novels with "Faro's Daughter." The witty dialogue, the power plays between the intelligent Deborah, who does not want to be beholden to anyone, let alone to the arrogant Lord who is so willing to believe the worst of her, and the creative subplots and adventures showcase her talent.
This is a winner, and a must read for all Ms. Heyer's fans!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

(TBR Pile) Home Sweet Home by Bella Riley

Author: Bella Riley


I can't wait to read this. I'm also taking LSAT in December 3, so it's going to be slow going on my TBR pile. After LSAT, I'm going to devour books after books after books. Right now, most of my reading material have LSAT on the title and requires pencil. Not even the pretty mechanical #5 pencils I prefer, but the #2 yellow wood pencil. It's what's allowed on LSAT day and I might as well get used to it now. Wish me luck on my test.

Product Description (from Amazon)
What if you can go home again?

Ten years and two hundred miles. That's what separates Andi Powell from quiet, secluded Emerald Lake-and that's exactly how she likes it. But now her job brings her back to the hometown she's tried so hard to forget . . . and to Nate Duncan, the man she's never been able to.

Nate once looked at Andi with love in his eyes. But that was before she left him in the dust to pursue her big-city dreams. Now he's the town's ruggedly handsome mayor with the power to break Andi's career like she broke his heart. As the two clash over the future of Emerald Lake, the sparks that fly between them rekindle a passion neither of them can deny.

Andi may have left town looking for the life she thought she wanted. But could everything she needs have been in Emerald Lake all along?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lethal by Sandra Brown (Review)

Thanks to Soho Press and Evan Boorstyn
 Author: Sandra Brown
Binding: Hardcover
Isbn: 1455501476
Size: 1.5" x 6.5" x 9.25"
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: 2011-09-20
I read my first Sandra Brown novel about 20 years ago. My favorite of her series is the Texas! series. I entertained myself endlessly on Sandra Brown's book. She always has romance, action, some heartbreaking moment and more. Lethal her newest book published in September 20 is just as fun to read. I thought Coburn was the 'bad guy'. He certainly does not sound 'safe' when he first burst into scene. Yes, burst. There's not other word for it. You sit up and take notice when he's on. Honor Gillette is not one of my favorite of her heroine, but she grow on me. When the story is spectacular, it's difficult not to enjoy every character in the book.

Even the villain is quite enjoyable. Ms. Brown kept me guessing almost to the end. I was almost tempted to jump to the last chapter and read ahead. But, I managed to contained myself since my husband reminded me I only do that on books I am not enjoying. I wonder if there's going to be another book with these couple.

About the Book (from the author's site)
 When her four year old daughter informs her a sick man is in their yard, Honor Gillette rushes out to help him. But that "sick" man turns out to be Lee Coburn, the man accused of murdering seven people the night before. Dangerous, desperate, and armed, he promises Honor that she and her daughter won't be hurt as long as she does everything he asks. She has no choice but to accept him at his word.

But Honor soon discovers that even those close to her can't be trusted. Coburn claims that her beloved late husband possessed something extremely valuable that places Honor and her daughter in grave danger. Coburn is there to retrieve it -- at any cost. From FBI offices in Washington, D.C., to a rundown shrimp boat in coastal Louisiana, Coburn and Honor run for their lives from the very people sworn to protect them, and unravel a web of corruption and depravity that threatens not only them, but the fabric of our society.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One For The Money by Janet Evanovich

I am very excited because the movie is coming out. Katherine Heigl looks great on the preview! I can hardly wait. I'm not sure about Ranger. I have a different picture in my head. Still, I'm going to drag everyone and their grandma to see this movie with me!
Product Description (from Amazon)
Read the Dynamite Blockbuster that Started It All!

Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash--fast--but times are tough, and soon she's forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family.

Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie's bail bonding company. She's got no experience. But that doesn't matter. Neither does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants to the time Steph hit him with her father's Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water--wanted for murder.

Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn't. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she'll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight--and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man.

Amazon.com Review
Stephanie Plum is so smart, so honest, and so funny that her narrative charm could drive a documentary on termites. But this tough gal from New Jersey, an unemployed discount lingerie buyer, has a much more interesting story to tell: She has to say that her Miata has been repossessed and that she's so poor at the moment that she just drank her last bottle of beer for breakfast. She has to say that her only chance out of her present rut is her repugnant cousin Vinnie and his bail-bond business. She has to say that she blackmailed Vinnie into giving her a bail-bond recovery job worth $10,000 (for a murder suspect), even though she doesn't own a gun and has never apprehended a person in her life. And she has to say that the guy she has to get, Joe Morelli, is the same creep who charmed away her teenage virginity behind the pastry case in the Trenton bakery where she worked after school. If that hard-luck story doesn't sound compelling enough, Stephanie's several unsuccessful attempts at pulling in Joe make a downright hilarious and suspenseful tale of murder and deceit. Along the way, several more outlandish (but unrelentingly real) characters join the story, including Benito Ramirez, a champion boxer who seems to be following Stephanie Plum wherever she goes.
Janet Evanovich shares an authentic feel for the streets of Trenton in her debut mystery (she developed her talents in a string of romance novels before creating Ms. Plum), and her tough, frank, and funny first-person narrator offers a winning mix of vulgarity and sensitivity. Evanovich is certainly among the best of the new voices to emerge in the mystery field of the 1990s. --Patrick O'Kelley

Monday, September 26, 2011

(COMING UP) The Angel Maker by Jessica Gregson


I just received this book in the mail. I cannot wait to read it! It sounds intriguing. The thought did occur to me while reading this book. Sari sounds like the Kevorkian of unwanted men. The description makes me antsy to find out why. Why would she be so motivated to do this? Why the whole town? This book got me hooked and I haven't even started reading it.
Synopsis: (from SOHO Press website):
Teenage Sari's smart, inquisitive nature would be enough to make her an outcast in her isolated provincial village; add to that her knowledge of healing herbs, and she's widely considered a witch.

When the men go off to fight World War I, however, everything changes. Without their oppressive and often abusive husbands and boyfriends, the women at last taste freedom and independence, and Sari makes friends. She and a number of other women in the village even begin relationships with injured Italian POWs housed nearby. Swept up in an intellectual and passionate love affair with a university professor, Sari's mind and body awaken for the first time in her life.

With the war's end, the men of the village return. Sari's freedom—and her newfound friendships—are imperiled. But just as Sari knows the herbs that will heal, she knows as well those that will kill. It takes several weeks for the arsenic, sprinkled in her fiancé's food, to finish him off. The first poisoning leads to another, and then another. Based on a true story, The Angel Makers shows how a good person can be led to evil, and how a community can come together to conceal unspeakable crimes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

(COMING UP) Heartstrings and Diamond Rings by Jane Graves


I love the cover. I have this lined up to read. Can hardly wait for it. You can whet your appetite or assuage your longing by reading chapter one here now.

(From the author's Website) He's the man of her dreams. . .
In a world full of frogs, Alison Carter is determined to find her prince. Maybe her dating past is more Titanic than Love Boat, but she's seen enough happy marriages to know that true love is possible. No matter what, she won't give up on happily-ever-after. If she can't find Mr. Right, she'll simply hire someone who can.  

She just doesn't know it yet
When Brandon Scott inherits a successful matchmaking business, he thinks his prayers have been answered. Set up a few lonely ladies, collect the fee, how hard can it be? No one needs to know he's not really a professional matchmaker--especially not his first client, the beautiful, spirited Alison. Soon he's falling for her--and her dreams of kids and carpools. But Alison is getting close to figuring out his secret, and if she learns he's deceived her too, she'll walk right out the door, taking Brandon's heart with her.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Kindle and Public Library

I have tried all kinds of reader. I bought a Sony pocket specifically so I can borrow eBooks from my public library. It wasn't as fun, but I managed to read quite a few books in it. Kindle (the latest generation) is the best one, I think. I ever tried Nook color for the same reason. But the back light does not make it an ideal reading for me. My 12 years old now uses it to watch YouTube videos.

I have been buried under LSAT related text the past few weeks. Today, I got a chance to check out my library's website to look for a video. What a nice surprise to find out that Kindle and my public library are together at last!  I can check ou library eBook through my Kindle! I've been waiting for this for ages. I can now say that my Kindle is perfect at last.  I checked out this book below. Since I'm still getting ready for a big test, I also check out McGraw-Hill's LSAT book.

This is the public library book in my Kindle!
See the books I've check out so far! I can hardly wait to check out more.
Click on the picture to see that Public Library has Kindle check out
Does your public library loan eBooks through Kindle yet?

Friday, September 23, 2011

He Loves Lucy by Susan Donovan

I thought this would combine my passion and my likes. A good old 'yellow' book could also play for TNChicks Saturday Photo Hunt. This is a romantic comedy about a woman wanting to be in better shape but food gets in the way. Who can't relate, right? I enjoyed this book with it's laugh out loud moments. I highly suggest it.
Product Description
Marketing exec Lucy Cunningham is thrilled when her firm lands The Palm Club account. The campaign concept for Miami's hottest fitness club was Lucy's idea: take one fitness-challenged woman, put her in front of TV cameras, and into the hands of the club's top personal trainer, Theo Redmond. And there's a big cash reward for each pound shed. It seems like a brilliant idea-until Lucy gets picked to be the guinea pig. It's obvious she needs to drop the pounds, but the idea of letting it all hang out in front of some Malibu Ken jock has her choking on her Milk Duds before she even begins! After one meeting, Theo knows Lucy will be his toughest client and one of the most unforgettable women he'll ever meet. Smart-mouthed and stubborn, it's clear she isn't fond of marching to anyone's drumbeat but her own. But she shocks Theo by rising to the challenge like a pro. And he finds his heart in jeopardy long before Lucy starts to slim down and turn heads. As Lucy sweats her way into a whole new life, things start to heat up between her and Theo. But trust doesn't come easy for either of them. They've both been burned by romance in the past. Now Lucy and Theo are about to discover that appearances can be deceiving-and in the end, true love lies somewhere between pizza and Pilates...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Horton Hears A Who! By Dr. Seuss



My youngest is now 5. He's in Kindergarten and he adores this book. In fact, the other night while I was reading this book, my 12 years old boy also stopped what he was doing and listened.

Who can resist Horton the Elephant who cares so much for the little inhabitants of Whoville? We were going to watch the movie last night, but ended up not being about to because Amazon Instant Play is not selling a copy, and Redbox don't have one either. Today we might be luckier because a library nearby is showing to have 3 copies of the movie.

Have you read this book? If not, you really should give it a try. Dr. Seuss has a particular talent for telling a story. Yes his drawing are creepy, but his story are fun.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Guardian by Margaret Mallory


The Guardian (Return of the Highlanders)
by Margaret Mallory
List Price: $7.00
Published in 2011
ISBN-10: 0-446-57516-X

I fell in love with Margaret Mallory with her All The King's Men Series. Those luscious covers and the fantastic stories. It's what I came to expect with Ms. Mallory. She's like Johanna Lindsey only so much better in her own way.

The Guardian is the first of the new series: Return of the Highlanders. I have a soft spot for any romance books with Highlanders in it. Ian MacDonald is kind (as demonstrated when he was a young lad being followed around by an urchin) and sometimes a bit misguided man, but above all, he's got heart. Sileas is the perfect girl for him. I did not say that she's perfect, only that she's perfect for him. I admire her self-control and demeanor. If I were in her place, I would probably have hit Ian on the head with an iron skillet!

There's a bit of cloak and dagger and some thrilling moment when Sileas took a trip. I like the progression of the romance and the hot sex that follows. Susan Mallory rocks!

Thanks to Ms Beers of Grand Central Publishing for my copy.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Black Ties and Lullabies by Jane Graves



Black Ties and Lullabies
by Jane Graves
Published in 2011
ISBN-10: 0-446-56847-3

My Take:
I enjoy Jane Graves writing since the DeMarcos Brothers (John, Alex and Dave). I adore those guys. They're tough and sexy Texans residing in a book that's romantic and funny and poignant, too. Thanks to Ms Beers of Grand Central Publishing for my copy. I enjoyed reading it over tea when every one of my 5 kids are asleep.

The story flows wonderfully. I like how Bernadette Hogan is a capable girl and Jeremy Bridges is strong and fun to read about. This is a good love story that will keep you entertained from page one. If you live in Dallas area, like I do, there might be one little detail that will annoy you. It has to do with finding pregnancy test kit. It doesn't really take more than 15 minutes to get one, even at an ungodly hour.

I highly recommend this book. Read Chapter One just to whet your appetite.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What If (Movie)


Kevin Sorbo Kevin Sorbo ... Ben Walker
Kristy Swanson Kristy Swanson ... Wendy Walker
John Ratzenberger ... Mike the Angel


My Take:
Kevin Walker walked out on his girlfriend fifteen years ago and became a successful businessman. Wendy and Ben was supposed to get married and get into ministry together. Instead, he's got a high-paying job, and a trophy fiancee. Then an Angel showed him what he was missing if he had stayed around and become the minister he planned to be.

Yes, what if movies has been done before. The highly entertaining Family Man with Nicholas Cage comes to mind. However, this one is different. It's got this underlying goodness that comes through the movie like an aroma wafting out of an over baking a bread. Yet, it's not in-your-teeth-preachy like Keanu Reeves The Day The Earth Stood Still.

I recommend watching this movie. Why I rated it 4? Because there was just something that I wanted and didn't quite get. Otherwise, this movie is entertaining.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Love My Header! (Win A Book)


My daughter made this bracelet.

My very good friend, Shabem at Embrace Simplicity and Paperhearts Boulevard made this header for me. I like it very much. I'm in awe of her creativity. Not only that, she is also an extraordinary photographer or photo-artist, or whatever we call these people who takes beautiful pictures.

To celebrate, I will give away one new book. Valued up to 15 dollars. Any book as long as it comes with free shipping from Amazon if you have US address. No PO Box address please. This is also open to any country that Book Depository will ship for free. (click on link to find out if your country is one of them.

Contest will be open for 10 days. Then on September 8, I pick one winner using random.org. Winner will be announced on the same post. Winner will choose a book and send me the title and mailing address. A second winner will win a bracelet created by my daughter.

Here's how to win:
(Must Do):
Follow me and leave a comment with your e-mail. (already a follower, no problem. Just mention it.)

(extra entry each, leave a separate comment each until I can figure out how to do otherwise.):
+Visit my header's designer page and let me know what you found out on her site. (links above)
BLOG POST LINK: http://tinyurl.com/4y447fx
+Link this post on Facebook (leave a link of your FB page and date/time the link posted; limit 1 per day)
+Twit about this contest (leave your twitter link, which you can find on the time stamp of your twit. Limit to one twit per day)
+Leave a comment to my other post. (limit to 2 a day).

That's it. Enjoy and Good luck!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Waiting For Forever (Movie)



Top 4 Actors
Rachel Bilson Rachel Bilson ... Emma Twist
Tom Sturridge Tom Sturridge ... Will Donner
Richard Jenkins Richard Jenkins ... Richard Twist
Blythe Danner Blythe Danner ... Miranda Twist



My Take:
Here's the story. There's a boy who doesn't really have a job, unless you count juggling and clowning as a reliable income. He thinks the girl he was last classmates with in 5th grade is 'the one'. Usually, I like stories like this. In fact, I dozens of these in my shelves. But, for some reason I wasn't rooting for this guy. He's cute, though. The girl whom this guys follows around is an actress in some minor TV show. The show's cancelled and she's going home. The guy is too because he follows this girl every where. This same girl who also cheated on her fiancee with his best friend.

The story picks up somewhere in the last few minutes of the show. I like the ending, hence, the 3. Otherwise, it would have been a one. Is it worth watching? If you're doing something else and have nothing else to watch, sure. It's really not that bad.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

To The Moon And Back by Jill Mansell



To The Moon and Back
Author: Jill Mansell
Binding: Paperback
Isbn: 1402243855
Size: 5.2" x 7.9" x 1.2"
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: 2011-09-01



This is a story about Ellie. Newly widowed and still very much in love with her dead husband. It's also a story about Zach, who saw her one day, and promptly felt something strong. It's a rich book filled with engaging characters you'll fall in love with. There's secondary stories you'll find yourself rooting for. This book is a wonderful read on any night you want to be entertained.

This book will make you laugh; it might even make you cry. This book is guaranteed to make you feel something. This is Jill Mansell at her best yet. I just adore this author. I think I have almost all of her books. If she ever visits the US to sign books, I'll be sure to show up. She's like my passion for Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jill Barnett, Eloisa James, and Diana Palmer all rolled into one.

This copy is an ARC courtesy of Danielle from Sourcebook.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Key To High Scores by David W. Fielder

I'm registered to take the October 1 LSAT. It's a little harrowing because I've always been a science major. This test is quite different from what I'm used to. So, I try to get as many books as I can to help me along. One of the books I picked up from the library is this:


Key to High Scores on Standardized Tests
by David W. Felder
List Price: $19.00
Published in 2006
ISBN-10: 0-910959-06-4


This book is okay if you are not familiar with any standardized exams. However, if you're about to take LSAT, this is not the book you need. Stick to Kaplan, Barron, McGraw-Hill, and LSAC's published ones. I had to check it out because the title is quite enticing.

BTW, the number one key to acing the LSAT is to study and I haven't been studying since Friday. Tomorrow, off the to library. It's amazing how one little interruption is a welcome nod to goof off the whole day. There are other better books out there.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova: Review and Giveaway (US)

Added Aug 9.
I used Raffle King.

Left Neglected
by Lisa Genova
List Price: $15.00
Published in 2011


My Take:
This book is very engrossing for me. I picked it up and could not put it down until I know what happens all the way to the end. The details and prose of this books puts me right there in the middle of the story. It's disconcerting when my husband asks me question and I can feel myself literally pulled from the pages of the book. It's pretty much like when Steve from Blue's Clues skedaddle into a picture frame.

What I'm saying is, this book is highly recommended. It's powerful and poignant. It's a book you can't missed. This author is certainly going places.

About the author:
Author Lisa Genova (Left Neglected & Still Alice)
Lisa Genova became an instant literary star when STILL ALICE, her first novel about a woman coping with early onset Alzheimer’s, debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and remained on the list for more than thirty weeks. Genova, who holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University, was widely lauded for her heartbreakingly authentic depiction of the disease, making STILL ALICE a success not only with readers and reviewers, but also doctors and Alzheimer’s organizations.

In her bestselling second novel, now available in trade paperback, Genova examines a lesser known condition called “left neglect” and delivers a compelling and poignant story about a vibrant woman who, in the prime of her life, is struck with the crippling disorder. LEFT NEGLECTED introduces readers to thirty-something Sarah Nickerson, who, like so many women today, is driven to succeed at home and at work, multi-tasking all day long, and spread extremely thin. The morning that changes her life forever begins typically, in her car on the way to work, as she is about to make a business call. While driving.

Sarah takes her eyes off the road for one second too long, and is involved in a terrible accident that results in a traumatic brain injury. Her memory and intellect are still intact, but she loses the ability to perceive information coming from the left— as if the left side of everything no longer exists. As she works to recover, Sarah also learns to pay attention to— and heal the rifts within— other parts of her life she has left neglected, mainly her husband, her children, and her previously distant mother.


Giveaway:
Ms. Ayelet of Gallery Books graciously allowed me to sponsor a giveaway for US resident. Leave your comments below about wanting to read this book and what is your most favorite 3 books of all time (or just recently if you want).
Extra entries includes:
-Follow me
-Link to facebook
-Twit this post, etc

On August 5, I'll pick a winner using random.org. Good luck and have fun!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fast Friends by Jill Mansell


FAST FRIENDS
by JILL MANSELL
List Price: $15.00
Published in 2006
ISBN-10: 0-7553-3249-0

Blurb:
When bored housewife and mother Camilla Stewart impulsively invites her old schoolchums for dinner she hardly imagines that the evening wilhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifl shatter her comfortable existence. But Roz Vallender and Loulou Marks are no ordinary guests. Roz, stunning and self-assured, is notorious as a TV presenter and superbitch, whilst the reckless Loulou owns Vampires, the trendiest wine bar in town. Horrified to discover that husband Jack has been playing around, Camilla determines to make some changes. With a little help from her friends she soon finds out that life in the fast lane is a lot more fun and the future still holds plenty of surprises.


My take:
Worth the time to read it.

I end up staying up until I finished reading the whole book. I like the chemistry. At first, it was hard going because Camilla is try too hard and I got annoyed with her. But if you just really hang on, you'll find that this book is fantastic. It makes you realized that sometimes, there are no other option except to get a backbone and start using it. I highly recommend this book. I've been on a Jill Mansell binge since reading RUMOR HAS IT.

I just finished another Jill Mansell called TWO'S A COMPANY, TO THE MOON AND BACK and STAYING AT DAISY'S.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Remember Everything You Read by Stanley D. Frank


Remember Everything You Read: The Evelyn Wood 7-Day Speed Reading and Learning Program
by Stanley D. Frank

List Price: $23.00
Published in 1990
ISBN-10: 0-8129-1773-1

Product Description (from Amazon.com)
Now you can join the millions of people of all ages who have reaped the rewards of the famous Evelyn Wood Speed Reading and Learning Program. All the secrets of this amazing system are now available to you in this book. Find out how you can:

Read 50% faster in only an hour
Double your reading speed in a week
Soar beyond -- to read an amazing 1,200 to 3,000 words per minute -- and remember everything you read!
DISCOVER THE SPEED-READING PATH TO POWER AND SUCCESS

In just a few lessons, the proven techniques of this dynamic learning system will unlock the natural power of your mind, opening the door to new realms of intellectual power and potential success.

THERE'S NO LIMIT TO WHAT YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH!


My Take:
I must have owned this book for years. Sometimes, you see a book and you just have to buy it. Then it sits there unread for years. My 5 years old took it out of the shelf a week before I went on a vacation to San Francisco with my 9 years old. I read this book on a lark because it's an interesting title.

While waiting for my children's piano and guitar lessons, I started reading. I timed myself on all the timed practice...and believe it or not, I REALLY doubled my reading speed by chapter 2. That's less than an hour!

Tell me, how awesome is that? I'm re-reading the book again, because if I can read faster, retain more, then it will be very helpful for my LSAT (Law School Admission Test) in October 1. As usual, I am procrastinating and have barely begun to practice the test. I will do it now. Not tomorrow, now. Knock on wood and keep fingers crossed. :)

I highly recommend this book to anybody who reads and likes reading, and to anybody else who wants to read faster. I'm not at 1500 words per minute yet, but I bet I will be before the year is out.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sheer Mischief by Jill Mansell


Winner: Mischief! Rae



Sheer Mischief
by Jill Mansell
Published in 2001
ISBN-10: 0-7472-6847-9

I read the one with the red cover, the other one is a newer edition. This is a highly recommended book from me. It's chick-lit, and romantic. It's deep and comedic. I just love the way Jill Mansell writes. I devoured this book in 2 days. My mother is now reading this one. I have to buy my copy from UK! It's worth it, though. She never disappoints.

This is a story about a sister who outshines her older sister in every possible way. Those with sisters can certainly relate. Who hasn't got one of those. If you're an only child you can enjoy the love story of the book. There's also a handsome successful man who is in dire need of a nanny, a charismatic chef, and two adorable children. There's also some missing husband. All these ingredients made for a wonderful hours of reading.

If you would like to win a copy of this book:
1. Follow me
2. Leave a comment stating that you want a copy.
3. I will pick up a name on July 13. (coz I'm going on a trip to SF and won't be back for a while.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We Want to Know Wednesday Q&A

I can't resist. This meme is too fun to pass up. So here I go.

Photobucket


This week's questions are from Seriously Shawn

{1} What must you do before you go to bed at night?
{2} What is one thing you must snack on at the theater?
{3} Before going on vacation what must you do?
{4} What is one thing you must do every day?
{5} Is there something you do that must be done in a particular order?

1. I must brush my teeth, wash my face, straightened up my bed sheets, and read a book before I go to bed at night. I'm currently reading


2. At the theater, the price of the snacks keeps me from wanting anything while watching a movie. So, I don't buy anything unless I am with my children, then I am forced to pay up for popcorn and soda. I don't like those.

3. Before vacation, I like to pack first, then clean my house and make sure things are straight and neat. I like to go home to a nice orderly house. Sometimes, this is very hard because my children and husband can be such slobs.

4. Read a book. It's an addiction. Even on my most busy day, I grab a book and read a page simply because it's like being and OCD. I must.

5. Well, quite a few. For example, when I go to shower, I like to make sure that no clothes are strewn about in the bathroom, the rugs and nice and floppy, the sink is orderly, then I make sure that the floors are as dust free as possible. Then I grab a towel, turn on shower, line up my shampoo and stuff. Get naked, and jump in the shower. I imagine other people do the same.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Is It Like Listening To You Talk?


As you probably know, to become an internationally best-selling author, you need to sell three books. This is not an easy task, but once you’ve managed to rack up these three sales, the rest is more or less a done deal.

Now, these sales themselves will not put you on the best-seller lists. They won’t even put you within a million spots of the bottom of the lists, but what they will do, and what they do every time, is spark a slowly growing buying frenzy that will get you there.

These three people will love your book, they will tell another five people, who in turn tell another seven. Within roughly four-and-a-half weeks, you finally make your first million.
That’s how it happens. Every single time.

But, how does an author tackle this monumental task? Where does he find these three readers?

I myself was quite lucky. When my novel appeared on Amazon I already knew over five people! What’s more, some of these people even liked me... somewhat. So I set out to become an internationally best-selling author by convincing at least three of these five people to buy my novel.

I started with my mother. Of all the five people I knew, I probably knew her the longest. I showed her my Amazon page and she nodded approvingly. She did not, however, make any attempts to buy a copy. So I logged on for her, navigated back to my novel’s page, and left the mouse pointer conveniently positioned over the BUY button.

She read the novel description again, searched-inside-this-book, and nodded some more. When I asked her if she’d like to buy a copy, she scrunched up her nose and said;

‘But what if I don’t like it?’
I told her not to worry. ‘It’s a really good book,’ I said. ‘I should know. I’ve re-written it like 50 times. It’s really funny and interesting.’
My mother wasn’t convinced. ‘I’m not really into comedy writing, though,’ she said.
‘It’s not just a comedy,’ I pointed out. ‘It has a real story; it’s a mystery. And it has twists and turns and believable characters.’
My mother hesitated. ‘Maybe I should just play it safe and buy another Stephen King novel…’

I ended up having to offer a personal money-back guarantee, and purchase a copy using my own credit card for the time being, but she finally cracked. I’d made my first sale!

Next, I prodded my wife. Although she did like words in general, she wasn’t sure she was up for reading and entire book full of them. ‘Is this like your usual stuff?’ she wanted to know.
‘What usual stuff?’
She shrugged. ‘I don’t know. Is it like listening to you talk?’
‘What’s wrong with they way I talk?’
‘Nothing. It’s just, well, sometimes you talk a lot of nonsense.’
I waved it away. ‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I am much more interesting and ‘telligible’ on paper.’

Long story short; my second sale is almost in the bag. Now I just need to find one more person to buy my novel, and I’ll be set for life!


Check out the Summer of Gomez!


Get free books and win a Kindle or iPod.

As reviewers have been calling “No Hope for Gomez!” the perfect summer read - light, fast, fun - I decided to give this summer's Gomez readers some exclusive content and the chance to win prizes.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

ROYAL Giveaways!!! (Win One Here, too! US and Canada)

Winner: Tina




What's the next best thing to slice bread and chocolate? (Okay, other than chocolate in slice bread). A great car insurance? For sure. FREE BOOKS! Yes, lots of them. So read on below and find out how you can get your hands on some extraordinary prizes.

Stay tuned in this blog for more fun stuff. There might even be a major giveaway. Watch out for it on the sidebar.

If you haven’t already checked out the Sourcebooks British Babes Book Brigade Facebook Page (where you can participate in giveaways and interact with authors like Elizabeth Chadwick, Jill Mansell, Helen Hollick, Sarah Bower and Phillipa Ashley and more…) then you should before next week because the page is about to go royally mad!!

The royal wedding is only a week away and we are going to be celebrating all next week. Starting Monday we will be doing a giveaway every day until the big celebration on Friday. But these are no ordinary giveaways – these are royal wedding prize packs!

3 winners will be randomly picked each day:

- The 1st place winner will get a William & Kate wedding memento (it is top secret for now (just like Kate’s dress J) but check the page out on Monday to find out – oh and they are all different so there will be a different memento each day). Along with that they also get their choice of three books from any of our British Book Babes.

- The 2nd place winner will have their choice of any two books from any of our British Book Babes.

- The 3rd place winner will have their choice of one book from any of our British Book Babes.



Leave a comment here and you could be a winner, too. Win surprise title of Georgette Heyer's novel. Drawing on Sunday, May 8. Up to two winners. US or Canada address only. No PO Box.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So, You Want To Write A Novel?



I saw this on facebook with Anna's post. It is funny. It might just be true also.

Just present my Spanish project today. I think I did okay, except for the parts where I did not.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hand In The Till by Gerald Hansen



      Added April 20
     Winner: Lisa






Hand In The Till
by Gerald Hansen
Paperback

List Price: $16.95
Published in 2011
ISBN-10: 1-4502-8770-0 / 1450287700
ISBN-13: 978-1-4502-8770-8 / 9781450287708

With a family like this, who wouldn't need absinthe?

Fionnuala Flood, mother of seven unruly thugs, takes stock of her life on her 45th birthday, and it couldn't be more of a misery. She's been fired from the corner shop for stealing, her two oldest sons are in prison, her husband's hands are fondling more than frozen fish at the packing plant, and her lesbian daughter has just published a book exposing the family's attempts to get their claws into Auntie Ursula Barnett's lottery winnings the year before. Daughter Dymphna, unwed mother, has just been kicked out of her boyfriend's house, adding two more mouths to feed.

Desperate to raise money to travel to Malta for the launch party and wreak havoc, Fionnuala puts into motion a get-rich-quick scheme that preys on the weaknesses of others and will hopefully add a bit of luxury to her empty coal bin of a life. The scam unleashes dark secrets that bring Ursula back to town for a final showdown.

Hand In The Till is a darkly comic look at revenge, retribution and, perhaps, reconciliation. With a shot of absinthe.


Win a copy of this book by leaving a comment and filling up the form on the left hand side. Drawing will be on Sunday, April 17.
Contest open US only for paperback copy.
Worldwide for Kindle e-book copy.

Extra entry: follow me and mention it in the comment.