Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Tour, Review & Giveaway: Fire On The Island

Title: Fire on The Island
Author:  
ISBN: B008RO8BZM

Goodreads Synopsis:

“She who wields the mark is the barrier between man and monster. She is the daughter of gods, the mother of man, protector of all. Vigilati Usque Ad Mortem”

All Isla Macallen wanted was a simple existence on her little Scottish island, free from her mother’s insanity and the prying eyes of neighbors. What she got was embroiled in a war for the souls of mankind. A war of good versus evil, of witches versus demons, and Isla learns that she alone can end it.

Dr. Jeremiah Rousseau was a self-proclaimed nomad, traveling the world researching paranormal phenomena. He doesn’t expect his research to lead him to Scotland, and to the woman who will turn his world upside down.

Together with a facetious shapeshifting animal spirit guide, Jeremiah and Isla discover that she is part of an ancient bloodline bred to protect the gateways between the human world and the spirit world, to keep evil demons from destroying them. They must find the key to defeating Alastore, the demon king, and closing the gate before Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is lifted. As the war for their souls wages around them, Isla and Jeremiah will risk it all for love—a love neither had ever thought possible.


Review:

I am not always into paranormal books, by that I guess I mean I can stomach some, just not others. It really depends. This book had me drawn - yes due to the amazing cover. But also, the Synopsis didn't sound half bad. Not that it didn't sound good, it's just as I mentioned I am always reserved when it comes to Paranormal books. With this type of book I usually take my time, and almost never finish it on the same day, but with this one, I was surprised to find myself finishing it in a matter of hours. The use of latin in the midst was what sealed my opinion of this book, I am easily influenced by great covers, and good writing, but adding another language in there is what sends me to the roof. Especially since with my studies of Italiano volgare I am able to understand most of the Latin words.

The story is basically about Isla, a girl who came to Arran Island and stayed. There she formed a business with which she can show tourists and people the beauty of the island. All was well until one day, in one of the other jobs she'd had to carry out to make enough money to start the business, she lifts up her hair to a knot showing an odd tattoo on her neck. That tattoo causes the usually friendly townspeople to start edging away from her and talking about her behind her back, as well as keeping a distance. Everyone trying to understand what it symbolizes but none of their theories sounded the least bit good. One day, Jeremiah comes to the Island for vacation. Jeremiah is very interested in paranormal behavior and such, he comes to the island after having found a book about Bruixi and Vigilati witches, he's so engrossed in it to realize that his guide was actually a vigilati. Jere does all he can to help her come to terms with what she is, then a lot of accidents occur where she's protected by a wolf. Her life turns into a mess as all the points in her life come together and start making sense, but with it, also came a battle she was meant to fight.

I really enjoyed how the author created this whole history behind Isla's heritage. How the tattoo-like shape (Signa) appears when she's old enough to use her powers. How she's a Vigilati but with Praeda blood running through her. The complicated stories behind the creatures had me intrigued. So I kept reading on to know how it goes, and how she reaches that final battle with Alastore - whom she might not be able to fight completely well due to the praeda blood running through her. What was the reason he shaped himself into a human anyway? The thoughts had me hurling through the book to know more.

One of my favourite Characters would have to be Marduk the feradux. I am not so sure why, though Jeremiah should have been the obvious one. I also liked Callum's protectiveness over Isla after all the town nearly shunned her for the tattoo on her neck.

All in all, a really great read!

Rating: 4.5/5

Giveaway:

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Wishlist Wednesday # 7



 

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop hosted @ Pen to Paper where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.





I know it has been a very long while since I posted any meme on Tuesdays - Fridays, but with work things have been hectic, and I haven't had much time to read my books for review & blog tours, let alone share memes. But we were allowed to leave two days early and so voila! Freedom! Currently I don't have anything for Waiting on Wednesday (or maybe I am not in the state of mind to remember it right now) so it's just Wishlist Wednesday.





This week's W.W choice is 'The Iron King' by Julie Kagawa. I've looked for it a lot in any and all of the bookstores I've been to, but I guess it's not being sold in Egypt. I could try looking in Kuwait for it, but I think I'll reach the same dead end, so until I manage to find a way to order it online, I guess it will have to stay on my Wishlist. But I am definitely looking forward to reading it whenever I can. Not to mention the rest of the books in the series!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: The Bachelorette Project

Alright I know I am so late with this, but hey it's still the same day right? Anyhow, I always seem to do it wrong when I schedule and decided I might as well  read it in advance and have it ready to post the day of, for some reason I got so busy with my 9 hour shifts at work and only just remembered today was the 22nd, so the first thing I did when I got home was post this!

Title: The Bachelorette Project
Author: 


Goodreads Synopsis:

When an unfortunate twist of fate leaves 28 year-old socialite Leslee Robinson broken-hearted and unemployed, she embarks on a journey to discover what boggles every twenty-something single woman’s mind: What do men REALLY want and how do you find the perfect mate? With the help of her two best friends; Annie, a self-conscious, sarcastic single mother; and Karen, the neurotic, perfectionist ‘bridezilla,’ Leslee creates The BACHELORETTE Project, a ‘scientific’ dating experiment designed to uncover the enigma of the male species. 

After multiple dates gone awry and unanticipated encounters of the extreme, Leslee decides to confide in the last person that she’d ever consider asking dating advice from: Eric, her handsome, womanizing college friend with a well-known ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em’ reputation. Aside from Eric’s infamous bachelor tactics, Leslee can’t help but to be oddly attracted to him, but will pursuing the charming, ‘bad boy’ philanderer that Eric is even be worth the risk?

With unbelievable twists and a contemporary, comedic Chick-Lit feel, The BACHELORETTE Project is the chronicle of a single woman’s journey to finding true friendship, discovering herself, and learning the enigma of love down to a science.


Review:

This book started off like something from Sex and The City and ended up like Sweet Home Alabama with a bit of Confessions of a Shopaholic in the mix. Leslee is awful with men. She thinks it's because she doesn't understand them or know anything about them. Hell, she didn't even know her fiancé - with whom she'd been living with for two years- that he dumped her for such ridiculous reasons. She has an awful day where she gets fired and goes home to find her fiancé throwing all her stuff out the window - yes even her gorgeous clothes - and dumping her on the spot. Her life is a mess and she's forced to go back home to Philadelphia where she decides to pick up from scratch as well as figure out what the hell men want. There she decides to follow through with 'The Bachelorette Project'. Her life is turned more than she anticipates and ends up in a completely unexpected place.

I seriously enjoyed reading this book. The last time I read a fun light read was 'Tulle Little Tulle Late' months back. It was a funny chick flick with modern girl problem. It was a quick read too, I read half of it on my way to and from work, then finished the whole thing the second I went home. The events of her 'experiments' were really funny, and I do enjoy her relationship with her friend Karen more than the ones from the city!

I wasn't so fond of the reasons why Victor broke up with her, or her reaction to their spoilt date, but otherwise I loved it! I was also seriously fond of Eric and his character - not sure why. But yes, definitely would recommend it!

Rating: 4.5/5




Excerpt:


“Why am I always getting dumped by men?” I ask Karen. “It’s because I know nothing about them.”

“OK …” Karen replies, unsure to where I’m going with all of this.

“So, my visit to the hospital really got me thinking,” I say, “and then I remember you using the word ‘experiment’ so then I thought … ‘EXPERIMENT!’” I exclaim. “It’s a genius idea! I can conduct this experiment on what men really want out of women and how I, the quintessential single woman, could give it to them and possibly find my true love!” I clutch my chest, smile, and spin around. “Isn’t that the most perfect idea that you ever heard? I would be like a scientist, a scientist of love.”

Karen rolls her eyes at my idea. “And how, O Great One, will you conduct this experiment?”

“I got it all planned out.” I pull my completed poster board from underneath my bed and I hold it up for 
Karen to see. She, once again, looks confused.

“What the hell is that?” she asks, sighing.

“It’s my experiment,” I say excitedly. “I’m going scientific on their asses. It’s called ‘The BACHELORETTE Project.’ How I will conduct the experiment is shown here.” I point to the different sections of the board. “I will go on a series of dates using different tactics in different environments to find out what works for women and what doesn’t.”

“I’m listening,” Karen says as she leans forward.

“In the process, I will study the men that I date, categorize them and see what their likes and dislikes are thereby unlocking the many secrets of the male species.”

“Oh, I can tell you the secrets of men,” Karen says, smirking. “It’s sex, food, video games, and sports. If a man has those four things, then he’s a happy man.” I guess that makes sense. You know, the ‘four things philosophy,’ but I’m just certain that there has to be more. It can’t be that easy or I wouldn’t be single … right?

“Well, I’m still conducting my experiment,” I say confidently. “Maybe there are more than just four secrets. Maybe there are seven secrets.” As I nod my head, I convince myself that there has to be more. Not everything is just sex, food, video games, and sports.

”All right,” Karen starts, “so when does your little experiment start?”

“As soon as possible,” I tell her. “Now all I need is a trusty assistant …”

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Showcase Sunday # 13



Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits & Tea.It's a way to share what we all got in our mailboxes this we






Hey there everyone! I know it has been over three weeks since I last posted a meme, but I've been so busy with work and when I am home I have no time for anything really. I mean, I'd have 9 hour shifts, with a lot of family members around when I come home as well as it being ramadan, things were just hectic! I'd spend the two hours from and to work everyday reading books for my blog tours to be up to date. BUT, if you do follow the Muslim calendar, you'd know it's Eid for the next three days which is our version of Christmas. We visit family, get new clothes, and money and are actually allowed to eat.


Normally we get those three days off no matter what, but since I work for a company's account in the UK and it's not a national holiday there, I won't be taking those days off. Yes, I have 9 hour shifts on Eid. However, since I haven't posted a giveaway in a while myself here, I decided I might do that in the spirit of Eid. But more on that later.  Don't I look awesome in my work environment? Though receiving phone calls all day is so not fun!


For now, let's start Showcase Sunday (which I missed dearly).

Snail Mail:

I got this awesome package from Ednah Walters. Though the design on the shirt turned out to be a bit controversial so I'm planning to add that in my giveaway.


I'm not sure if I posted all those before or not, anyhow, this is what I got in the mail these past few weeks.

Now, onto ebooks.

Books For Review:










Books For Book Tours:





NetGalley Books:









I got a hell of a lot of awesome freebies from Amazon too, though I can't put them all. I might add them next week though, since I might not have that much stuff to share on here. Anyhow, be sure to head up to amazon and download some of the books there!

Blog Tour, Review: Superheroes Wear Faded Denim



Title: Superheroes Wear Faded Denim
Author: 


Goodreads Synopsis:

Blissany Cherry is tired of sleeping around. Her neurologists’ sleep solutions have failed her. Now that her bizarre sleeping habits have begun to include week long dreams she has resorted to her own methods for a cure. 

METHOD ONE: CONTROL DREAMS. All attempts to morph dreams about a gorgeous warrior into romantic fantasies are thwarted. He keeps on insisting she is destined to marry a great king and lead their armies into war. At the end of every dream he asks her: will you fight the war and save mankind? 

She laughs in his face. 

METHOD TWO: RESIST! Blissany has plans for her life. None include fighting an intergalactic war. When her dreams begin spilling over into reality, she is forced to make a decision that will forever redefine her life. Standing between destiny and desire, she is left with only one option. 

METHOD THREE: SURVIVE.


Review:

I absolutely loved the title and cover, and the synopsis only helped me get more excited into reading the book. However, I was disappointed in realizing they almost have nothing to do with the book. It portrayed it in a completely different way than I had expected- not necessarily in a bad way, but still it was a bit misleading.

The book revolves around our world and how it's about to embark on a war due to one of the higher powers being rejected and wanting revenge. They had warriors created with specific powers, prepared enough for such a war. The problem of the matter was, the warriors aren't as supportive of the war and their role in it as the higher powers had expected. Don, believes in what he's told, yet he has mixed feelings about being involved in the whole thing. Blissany on the other hand refuses to take part in the war in real life. So Gabriel tries to convince her in her dream world, yet when she still refuses, Gabriel erases her memories and decides to let her fight whilst sleepwalking, which is one of the reasons why Don has reservations with the whole thing. All Blissany has ever hoped for was a guy being interested enough with her to want to date her, not a war and magic and weird creatures. So when Don approaches her at a party, she's excited for a few seconds before her psycho roommate comes over and captures his attention. Things go up and down, visitors come from different worlds, there's art galleries and fraternity parties, and a whole lot of jealousy in the mix.

This story reminded me a bit of Dream Walkers and Dream Slayers (books I had reviewed a few weeks ago) but it was quite different at the same time. I know how this one is basing a new light on religious aspects like the higher powers and how one of them was rejected for disobeying the rules...etc. But I still liked this new dystopian world, with a surprise in the addition of vampires in the mix. Frankly this was not the book I had expected it to turn out to be at all, but I still enjoyed it very much! I also really liked the names Blissany and Wanikiya. The whole drama and love mess kept me on edge I had absolutely no idea how it was going to end up, so that was rather great.

Anyhow an interesting read!

Rating: 3.5/5


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review: Fated Dreams

Title: Fated Dreams
Author: 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Do you believe in true love? Sarah Samson didn’t until she met hers. But for Sarah, meeting the guy of her dreams came with a price. On the outside Sarah looks like she has it all, friends, a loving family, and a hobby she's really good at. But if you look closer, Sarah's keeping secrets, from everyone in her life, even... Lucas. A boy she hardly knows, but still feels a connection with.

Life would be perfect, if it wasn't for the constant feeling that someone is following her. She feels a presence everywhere she goes, work, home, even...in her dreams.

She suddenly finds herself wrapped up in a dangerous mystery that started eighty years ago involving two tragic deaths. After several attempts on her life, she and Lucas realize they must solve it before history repeats itself.


Review:

I seriously love the cover. I mean look at it! Isn't it awesome? I probably sound so shallow, but I am a sucker for a great cover, so that's the main reason why I requested this book on Goodreads. The synopsis is not exactly misleading but gives a bit of a different impression than the one I got from the book. Trust me that book is way better.

Now, the book is about Sarah, a girl who transferred from a private school to be with her friends and people that treated her better than in her old school after the most popular girl in school went on a rampage to make everyone hate her and turn her life into hell. The new school is a completely different experience and she's a completely different person with her friends around. She also has dreams of a guy she goes to school with but doesn't know so well. She's uncomfortable about those dreams until she realizes that she isn't dreaming about the obnoxious yet popular guy in school, but his more quiet and less popular twin brother. They develop a connection she hadn't anticipated and realizes he also has been having dreams about her. The problem with both their dreams are, they both end up dead in them. And for some reason, someone is out to make their dreams come true.

I loved the relationship between the families, whether it's Sarah with her family or Lucas with his. The sibling bickering and strong relationships they have were funny and reminded me of my own characters. At some point I expected another confrontation with Sarah and her old bully Stephanie, but it never came, which is weird since the author had stressed on their encounter in the prologue. The added mystery of the dreams and who stars in them was fun. The characters were always paranoid, Sarah over whoever it is watching her, and Lucas, with not wanting his dream of Sarah being dead coming true.

I am always fond of family books and ones that continue onwards, so I'd have wanted to know more about Logan and his relationship with Lucas. Maybe also more on Sarah and her brother Alex, but it was still great, and I hear Logan gets his own book in 'Delusions' which I hope to get a chance to read soon! That and, is it only me or have I been reading a lot of books about dreams lately? I mean sure they were all special in their own way, and had really hooking and special storylines, but still! There's Silver Knight, Dream Slayer, Dreamwalkers, Superheroes wear faded Denim, and now this.

Anyhow, it's a great read. Very simple, funny, and adorable. It also holds a mysterious and dangerous aspect, but the parts involving the different families added a pleasant contrast. I enjoyed it, and can't wait to read more on Logan.

Rating: 4/5

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway: Forever Man

Title: Forever Man
Author: 

 Synopsis:


What if you had been given the gift of healing and could save those you loved? And furthermore, discovered you could save the one you love from a vampire’s kiss. There is a catch; of course, the cost of such a healing could mean your own death…
Ellie Hightower is discovering such gifts in the novel, Forever Man by January Bain. She is telepathic, young and bright and has been running from these new found gifts all the way to Nome, Alaska where she encounters the man of her dreams, Mike Stone and an ancient evil force out to take him away from her. Will having goodness and light on her side be enough to save them from Katrianna, a newly resurrected vampire that looks to enslave Mike in her nefarious web?



Guest Post:


Vampire versus Human/Part 1

My vampires have a saying, “Life sucks, and then you don’t die.”

When you don’t die, according to the vampires that populate my novels, it brings up a whole host of concerns and considerations. Most worrying is memory. How much “baggage” can you take if your life is never going to be over? If the making of a vampire goes well, you face remembering all that happened in your human existence and all that will happen in your vampire existence. Now that can suck big time! It creates such hardship that many vampires, during the course of their centuries of undead life, will choose “time-out” or captus ut humus, the Latin words for “going to ground”.

How many humans require a refreshing of their batteries and how hard it that to achieve in our busy lives? As a teacher and author, I often cannot tune off the voices in my head, be it a student or a character that is pressing for attention. I’m reminded of a line in a move, For The Love Of The Game, where the Kevin Costner character thinks and/or says the line, “Clear the mechanism,” each time before he makes a pitch. It is the author equivalent of becoming still enough in our minds to find and follow our muse. These short spells of captus ut humus refresh and revive us from the baggage of our lives. Just be glad it’s just the baggage of a single lifetime and not the centuries or millenniums a vampire endures. Now that would require a major time out!

Forever Man
July 2012 Release
First in the Forever Series 


Giveaway:

A chance to win a PDF copy of the book just by entering below


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Friday, August 10, 2012

Tour Stop, Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: Racing to Love

Title: Racing To Love
Author:  
Goodreads Synopsis:

From the outside, Molly West had everything, beauty, brains, and a career she'd retired from not once, but twice. Being in the limelight and in a sport that was male driven, she was often surrounded by men. She ignored first the boys, and as she got older, the men. Her cold shoulder and patented not a chance in hell look were usually enough to get her point across. Molly had no plans in changing what was a perfectly good system. That is until she walked into the pits. 

Carter Sterling had traveled the racing circuit since he was a boy. He'd heard all the old standbys, She's out there somewhere, love comes along when you least expect it. Good things come to those that... Yeah, he'd heard them all. The last place he expected to meet the love of his life was on a pro track. All she did was smile, and he knew, looking into her sapphire blue eyes, Molly West was his. Forever. If it was only that easy. 

From the moment he laid eyes on her, he had a gripping feeling in him. An overwhelming need to protect her-a girl he'd just met. Carter had learned a long time ago that gut feelings are almost never wrong. Molly now held his heart in her hands, but it was going to take a lot more than just love to protect her from the past she thought she'd buried a long time ago.


Review:

Molly West has had such a traumatic childhood before she was taken in by James and Karen. There she blossomed under their care, alongside their overprotective son Brody. That change of pace is what made her life so much better, she finally had a family who cared a lot about her and would do anything in their power to ensure she's safe. The problem with James and Brody was, their idea of 'safe' usually involved not allowing guys to get close enough to her. Ever. Not that she hasn't been around guys at all, in her line of work as a talented young racer, she has met many guys. She wasn't bad looking either so she was used to unwanted attention, and sleazy guys hitting on her. However, the men in her family had taught her to ward off those advances, and frankly she was never interested in any guy so she didn't mind Brody and Jame's interferences. That is, until she met Carter Sterling. Carter Sterling had been searching for the right woman in order to settle, maybe start a family as well? So when he saw Molly and found himself falling hopelessly in love, he wasn't going to miss his chance with her, so he did all that's in his power to get close to her. But it's all threatened when Molly's past comes out to haunt her again.

I guess, starting with the usual, the cover... it was alright, though the story holds much more appeal than the cover gives it credit for. The title was intriguing and fit well with the setting and plot of the story, so I liked that as well. This was such an adorable romantic comedy. I enjoyed the sibling banter between Brody and Molly. How she was all blasé with the guys she meets - except Dylan, who was typical to all the guys she chose to avoid. She was confident at times, yet insecure in others, showing a depth in her character and her background that I enjoyed. I also liked seeing it all from the opposite points of view, one time from Carter's , the other time from Molly's. So I guess It's not really plausible the way he'd act on his reaction so soon, like randomly playing with her hair when they only just met, and how she was alright with it even though she'd just been upset with Dylan a moment before, but it was still cute. How they reacted to eachother and whatnot.

I really enjoyed this book! It was a quick and fun read.

Rating: 4/5





Now to some words from the author!
Guest Post:


My 10 Favorite Authors & Why …
This is going to be so difficult! I started reading young adult romances when I was probably younger than I should have been. The Sweet Dreams series hooked me and I’ve been a fan of the romance genre ever since.
In my early teens I found Danielle Steel. Again, probably younger than I should’ve been, but I devoured her books faster than they were published, re-reading several of them multiple times.
A few years ago I picked up a Nora Roberts book, Irish Dreams. Instantly I was drawn to her. I can’t read or watch anything suspenseful at all, so I shy away from her JD Robb books, but the others…I’ve read them all. I’m drawn to books involving dance or Ireland and she has both. Those books on my shelf are so worn, I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve read them.
Then I found Susan Mallery and Carly Phillips and my world was rocked again. Their writing styles are similar to my own. I love how Nora, Susan and Carly write in a series. I always feel like when the last page is turned, I’m a little let down because the story is so good I want to know more. I’ve become attached to the characters and I want their stories to continue, you can do that in a series. I love hot romance combined with great dialogue. These women have that and more.
My best friend is an avid reader as well, she raved about this author she had found. Following her advice I fell in love with Something Borrowed and its sequel Something Blue by Emily Griffin. I think I’ve now read them both roughly five times a piece!
When I began my journey into the writing industry I knew no one, had no contacts, and basically had no idea of what to do next after the stories were written. With the help of the Twitter world, I became friends with some ladies who, not only do I adore their work and devour their books the instant they hit the stands, but they’ve become treasured friends. Keri Ford, Renee Vincent, KE Saxon, Mari Carr and Jan Romes—these women are amazing. I think that has made them such special authors in my book. (No pun intended!) I can’t even count the number of times I’ve recommended their names to my friends. Now that I’m an author as well, it seems like even people I don’t know ask me all the time who I’d recommend. Especially in the erotic romance genre. That usually turns into a lengthy conversation as there are so many authors I adore in both the contemporary and erotic genres. I prefer stories that are fun, sassy and in the end the girl gets the guy. With these gals, I know I can trust I’ll be smiling when the last page is turned.
Don’t tell anyone, but I’m going to sneak in an eleventh author to my list. This woman is a very dear friend and has done more for me and my career than I can ever repay her for. A.L. Jackson. On top of being an amazing friend and person, her books are spectacular! Gripping, moving and at times heart-wrenching, and in the end you feel like you’ve ridden a roller-coaster along with the characters.



Now for a chance to read it too:
Giveaway:

You can follow my blog for extra points, but it's not necessary, and I won't make you go through hoops either. It's a simple giveaway so enjoy!


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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Blog Tour, Review: 29 and a half reasons

Title: Twenty-Nine and a half Reasons
Author:  

Goodreads:

When Rose reports for Fenton County jury duty she figures she’s lucky to get out of a morning working at the DMV. Instead, despite a disastrous encounter with the new assistant district attorney, Mason Deveraux, she’s picked as a juror on a murder case. As the trial progresses, she realizes an ominous vision she had in the men’s restroom proves the defendant is innocent. And there’s not a cotton picking thing she can do about it.

Or is there?

As if things weren’t bad enough, Rose’s older sister Violet is going through a mid-life crisis. Violet insists that Rose stop seeing her sexy new boyfriend, Arkansas state detective Joe Simmons and date other men. Rose is done letting people boss her around, but she can’t commit to Joe either. Still, Rose isn’t about to let the best thing in her life slip away.



Review:

I am very disappointed to say I didn't read book one. Why? Because the book is hilarious, and I can only imagine how funny book one was! I am honestly trying to get my hands on it right now to read it, even though I'm going backwards in the series, but alas, I've done it before. A lot.

Now, what did I think of the cover? Amazing! And the title too was pretty inspired, especially as it goes from Twenty-Eight and a half wishes which was the name of book one. You know how in Harry Potter it's 'Platform 9 and 3/4'? Well, I think the half here added the same intriguing effect the 3/4 had done whilst reading Harry Potter.

So let's get to the book.

Rose has been trying to go on with her life, now that the whole debacle with her mother's murder and her nearly dying was done with. She is having reservations about moving in with her new 'boyfriend', who also happened to have been an undercover cop, who may have attempted to implant evidence in her house to frame her for murder, which explained the fact that he'd lied about everything he'd told her about himself. But it's all in the past now, she's free, the murderer was killed, she has a boyfriend... well and a very overbearing sister and jury duty that play havoc on her life. Why? Well, her sister doesn't like her boyfriend and is determined to break them up, and jury duty... well suffice it to say she couldn't not stick her nose where it shouldn't have been. Basically, her life is upside down in all possible manners, and she doesn't know how to fix it. Oh and she nearly dies, again, but what's new with that?

Has any of you read To Die For by Linda Howard? Or Drop Dead Gorgeous? Well, you should, honestly! Now, why am I bringing them up? They were basically my first books into Mystery and Crime and I enjoyed the quirky character of Blair Mallory. I loved that book, just as much as I loved this one. I seriously enjoyed all her insane moments, and how she was never far from trouble, the author's style was very simple, easy and hilarious at times. I loved Rose's character - even though she was considered strange I enjoyed every second of it, and agree with Joe that she's special.

The crime side of the book was just as great as the rest of it, and found I found myself completing the whole thing even though I was only supposed to be reading two or three chapters - so yes, a quick read.

Anyhow, I would definitely recommend it! Although, you should read it after reading book one - yes I am working on getting a copy of the first one as soon as I can manage.

Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Rebels By Accident


Virtual Book Tour for Patricia Dunn’s Rebels By Accident





Title: Rebels By Accident
Author:  
ISBN: 9780985492

Goodreads Synopsis:

A Troubled Teen Sent to Cairo Finds Revolution is Everywhere, Including in Ourselves

When my first party ends in jail, I think things can’t possibly get worse. But then my parents send me to my grandmother in Cairo, and I’m sure my life is over. My sittu is Darth Vader’s evil sister, and I’m sure the only sites I’ll get to see in Egypt are the rooms in her apartment.

Turns out she’s not so bad. We ride camels by the pyramids and ice skate at a mall.

As Sittu says, “Sometimes a moment can change your life.” But it can change the life of a country too. When a girl named Asmaa calls the people of Egypt to protest, I find myself in the middle of a revolution, running from tear gas and guns.

Oh yeah, and I meet the cutest guy I’ve ever seen. Fall in love for the first time. And have my first kiss.


Review:

The main reason I decided to read this book and requested it at Netgalley was because of the storyline. As many of you well, should know –it is obvious – I am Egyptian. And I had spent some time in Egypt during the events of the 25th of January, but had to go visit my parents in Kuwait before it got dangerous. It was weird being so far from your family and friends and having no way to contact them, completely terrifying really, and not the holiday we’d all hoped for obviously. Let me tell you, watching from the sidelines was not fun. So I was intrigued, since the author did not appear to be Egyptian, and I had hoped it wasn’t one of those books where they just serve in stereotypes about Arabs whilst not knowing much about them. But this book was well researched and so I was glad for that.


This book is about Mariam, an Egyptian girl who was born in the States and thinks of it as home, hating everything that reminds her of her Egyptian background. That includes her name, her looks and her family's peculiar habits. She hates it all and longs to be freed of her dad's strict reign. Only, one day things go too far with her in a party she wasn't supposed to be at and as punishment, her father decides to send her to Egypt to stay with her grandmother for a bit with her bestfriend Deanna, there they both embark on a journey neither had ever anticipated. One where they join the point of anger a whole country faces, making them be a part of something big, and belonging in it.

One thing that bothered me was the part where the luggage was thrown on the floor. In Cairo there are 2 airports, they're called the new airport and the old airport. Never have I gone to either where your bags were just thrown on the floor for you to gather up.

Other than that, the book was great. I am one of those people whose parents weren't so fond of life in Egypt and decided to live abroad instead. Dad had a choice between France and Kuwait, and chose Kuwait because he wanted us to be raised in an Arab and Muslim country, so we had the values engraved in us as we grew up. Unfortunately for Mariam, her dad didn't make the same choice, causing the identity crisis and gap between the cultures to form an overload for her. In any other regard though we were the same, I never felt like I belonged in Egypt, I hated every minute of it and thought my parents absolutely overbearing. Frankly, I couldn't wait for the day to go out.

I really liked this part:

Deanna makes us take about a dozen pictures of her and the Sphinx from all different angles. Right profile. Left profile. Foot to paw. "I'm going to put these all over Facebook," Deanna says. "Didn't Beth - or was it Karen? - call me Sphinx Face?"

It was Karen. "They didn't mean it as a compliment, Deanna."

"Of course not. But I like it. Look how amazing this thing is," she says.


Why do I like this part? Because yes, the Sphinx is amazing! That's honestly how I felt like the first time I saw him, I was so enthralled and in awe of him I had to be practically dragged away. See the photo? That honestly did happen!

I am so glad to have read a book that put a new perspective on people during the revolution, especially from a non-Egyptian. I could relate so much to Mariam, and the only time I ever felt like belonging to Egypt were in those moments of the revolution, one where we were all united with hopes of a better future. I enjoyed the thorough research, the plausible scenarios, and the use of Arabic -especially colloquial- in the book, it added an extra charm to it.

Long story short, a journey of a girl searching to find a meaning in life, fitting in to an aspect of her life she'd never thought possible, and growing up.

I enjoyed this book very much and would absolutely recommend it.

Rating: 5/5


Giveaway!
(To be honest I am not sure if this is only an ebook copy of the book or a paperback, but both ways an interesting read!)


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Monday, August 6, 2012

Blog Tour, Review, Giveaway & Excerpt: One Major Mistake

Hello there! I know I've been on the down-low for over a week now, hell I haven't even done my Showcase Sunday yesterday, but I've honestly had a lot on my plate - still do. Work's been hectic and family-wise there's been a lot going on. I still don't have things settled, but I have 4 amazing books coming up for tours from today to the 10th of August so don't worry I'm still alive and posting. I'm hoping by sometime next week - or the end of Ramadan - I'd have settled a more comfortable routine and have all the memes I've joined updated as well, plus I have a huge TBR pile. I know I'd promised people I'd be done with them in July and hate that I haven't so sorry people!

Now, let's start!

Title: One Major Mistake
Author: 
ISBN: 9781478204

Goodreads Synopsis:

Despite having brought down two major crime families, Pavel’s life is still filled with problems. The two bright things in his world: Teresa Mancini, his fiancée, who, on a good day, has the ability to bring him to his knees and his daughter Rita Grace, a result of a whirlwind affair before he fell in love with Teresa. 

Once again, murder is the prime evil propelling Pavel into his latest case. After the murder of his partner and friend Nick Haxton’s ex-wife Brenda, Pavel leads a team to dethrone Guillermo Diaz, the leader of a drug gang believed to be responsible for Brenda’s death. Agent Danni Stone joins the local agency. Stone knows Diaz on the most intimate of levels, and Pavel views this as suspicious. 

As if Pavel can take anymore, Teresa receives a substantially large check from an anonymous benefactor, and insists that Pavel deal with it while she decides how to spend it. But not before she uses her iron-willed determination to find out who the benefactor is even if it means breaking into her attorney’s office looking for answers. Being thrown in jail would stop any ordinary woman, but apparently not Teresa. 

Join Pavel as he wades through harrowing situations, suspects aplenty and suspense in this third thrilling installment of the Ivanovich Series



Review:

I should mention it's been a while since I last read a good crime book. Or a crime book in general. Almost a year? Or more? I am not honestly sure. Last time I read one that had me so enthralled was Julie Garwood's Heartbreaker, but that book was amazing for more than one reason. Anyhow, I love crime books, I just haven't had the chance to read much of them lately, though, does watching a LOT of "Castle" compensate that? I am hoping so.

Now, back to the book in question, I am going to be honest by saying I didn't like the cover. I honestly only joined the tour because I haven't read a crime book in a while and thought this would be interesting. Though you know how they say don't judge a book by its cover? Well, this book definitely applies! Even the Synopsis didn't sound that appealing - wow it's a wonder I even joined - but trust me, it's a matter of hiding something really good from the public eye. Like when Ted (from How I Met Your Mother) claims you shouldn't tell someone how awesome a movie really is and just let them be mindblown by that fact after watching it? Yeah, it's like that with this book.

This is the third book in the series - I never realized this beforehand, but how else would it be me if I didn't start reading a series from the middle? - so there's a few points the author mentioned I didn't get, but I am so going to read the first two now. It starts off where I assume it was left off from books one and two with Pavel and his girlfriend Teresa trying to make their living arrangement work - what with his constant and dangerous line of work and her superficial nature. And to make matters more complicated, Pavel's partner's ex is dead, yet they're not allowed to investigate it. Only when they get a case of their own and realize that both intersect do they allow themselves to avenge her by finding out who the killer is. Pavel's life is in upheaval in trying to balance his work and home life, not to mention be on the lookout for anything harmful coming Teresa's way or any rash decisions she decides to embark on. There's also the matter of smoothing things between her and his daughter which is hard because he's never at home. And at work things aren't any easier because  he now doesn't only have one person too close to the case, but two, adding to that there's a leak in the department and he has no idea who it is which ends up getting an undercover cop badly hurt. Something is wrong and he needs to figure out what it is, and how to sort out the mess of a life he seems to be leading.

That's it, I am going to stop at that as to not give stuff away.
One thing I hated about this book was Teresa. Seriously. Maybe book one and two shed any good light on her, but I couldn't stand her in this book, or even contemplate how anyone could fall in love with her. She was ridiculous, selfish and just like a little child. I don't know how Pavel would insist she's smart when the only impression I got was that she was an idiot. I mean, most of the crap she came up with, what the hell? And it wasn't even something funny or entertaining to the reader, I honestly just wanted to shoot her myself. I mean, I have read about high maintenance and spoilt brats in books before, in fact, in To Die For by Linda Howard, Blair was like that, only I enjoyed reading more about her, and laughed so hard most of the time. Blair was an entertaining, funny, and smart character. Teresa is not.

Nonetheless, I really loved the style, and writing and the mystery of it all. I mean it's different than the usual mystery and crime books I've been reading, but still as good. I hate that it was left on a cliffhanger but I'm dying to know what happened next!

Rating: 3.5/5

Excerpt:


Shouting in the outer room cut him off. Pavel flung the door open and saw agents ducking beneath their desks, guns drawn. Everyone was yelling.

“Put your weapon down!”

“Let him go!”

It was total pandemonium.

“Shit,” Pavel said quietly. “Guys,” he nodded toward the outer room. “This doesn’t look good.”

Pavel immediately grabbed his weapon, squatted down and slowly made his way into the room toward the nearest desk. He peered over it and saw Lazlo standing in the middle of the room, a man with his arm around his throat, gun aimed at his head. The man was yelling for everyone to throw their weapons down.

“I’ll kill him!”

The man backed toward the door, dragging Lazlo with him. Forensco dashed toward the main room and ducked down behind his desk. The man began shooting wildly. Bullets whistled over the desk in the back where Pavel was crouching.

“Put the weapon down and let’s discuss this,” Pavel yelled to the man.

“Throw your guns down or he dies!”

“I won’t let them hurt you,” Lazlo tried to reassure the man.

“Shut up!” he smacked Lazlo on the side of the head with the butt of the gun.

Pavel noticed that Nick made his way to the edge of the room and the rest of the team dispersed themselves within the room, taking cover behind file cabinets, counters and desks. Pavel looked at Nick and moved his head in the direction of where the man was holding Lazlo. Nick understood his meaning.

“Okay,” Pavel yelled, his heart thundering in his chest. “Everyone do as he says. Slide your weapons to the center of the room.”

He could hear metal clanging against the floor. He glided his gun across the floor with the others and stood up, hands raised, knowing that if it came to that, he still had his backup strapped to his ankle. 

Sweating now, he stood there hoping the gunman didn’t start shooting at him. He wouldn’t have time to get to his piece. He tried to talk the man down.

“Okay, we’re all unarmed. Let him go,” Pavel told him.

He made eye contact with Lazlo and tried to mentally tell him he would be fine.

Suddenly Agent Forensco stood up in front of Pavel and aimed at the man.

“Let him go!” Forensco yelled.

“Forensco, put it down,” Pavel ordered.

The man appeared startled and nervous. He began waving his gun at Forensco then at Pavel and back at Lazlo. It seemed to Pavel that the gunman was as out of control as the situation was. Forensco ignored Pavel and shot toward the man, barely missing Lazlo. Pavel figured the man reacted out of fear when he shot back at Forensco. He missed. Pavel ducked down, but kept his eyes trained on what was unfolding in front of him. The gunman aimed back at Lazlo’s head and pulled the trigger. Pavel saw his boss crumple to the floor.

“No,” Pavel screamed as an initial reaction.

Almost instantaneously, Nick came around the corner and fired a clean shot to the head of the unknown man, who fell next to Lazlo.

Pavel ran toward Lazlo, yelling for someone to call nine-one-one. Even in his despair, in the back of his mind, he knew it was too late, but he tried all the medical techniques he knew in order to save Lazlo. 

Nothing worked. A few attempted to pull him away from Lazlo, but Pavel didn’t see who they were. All he could see was that both Lazlo and the crazed man were dead.


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