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Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop

I'm very excited to join Happy New Year 2013 giveaway hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Babs Book Bistro. I'm offering the chance to win a book from Book up to USD 15!

  • There isn't any rule for this giveaway. If you're interested in the book, just simply fill in the form below. But, it would be nice if you follow me via GFC/twitter/goodreads too :)
  • TWO winners will be selected for the Happy New Year 2013 giveaway hop!
  • This is an International giveaway Anyone can enter as long as book depository ship them free of charge :D.
  • Winners will be notified via email.  Winners will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected. 
  • Of course, I'm not responsible for any lost packages.

Thank you so much for participating!! The winners for this 'Happy New Year 2013  Giveaway Hop' are Lily B and Jacklin Updegraft

Don't forget to check out the other giveaway stops on this blog hop:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop

The "Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop", hosted by  I Am A Reader, Not a Writer is here! Here's my favorite reads of 2012. You can win Kathy Reichs' Virals (Virals #1) or Seizure (Virals #2).


  • There isn't any rule for this giveaway. If you're interested in the book, just simply fill in the form below. But, it would be nice if you follow me via GFC too :)
  • You may fill in the form and choose one of these books. There's going to be ONE winner for Virals and ONE winner for Seizure. One lucky winner could win them both.
  • This is an International giveaway Anyone can enter as long as book depository could ship them to you.
  • Winner will be notified via email.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected. 
Thank you so much for participating!! The winners for this 'Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop' are:
  • Brandy M. (Virals)
  • Jenny Stanek! (Seizure)
  • Giulia A. (Virals & Seizure)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Book excerpt: On the Rim of Love by Marie Astor

Marie Astor is now on tour with On the Rim of Love. I'm very excited to share an excerpt from her novel, On the Rim of Love. Please visit her tour page on CLP Blog Tours for more information and a giveaway!

As they walked back to Taylor’s truck, Maggie drew a sharp breath – this was the moment of truth, the moment when she had to tell Taylor that they could no longer see each other. Their evening together made her attraction for him even more intense and the thought of never seeing him again filled her with desperate longing; yet, she knew what had to be done. 

She was just about to kick off her tirade by thanking Taylor for a wonderful night when, all of a sudden, before she could say another word, Taylor pulled her close to him. In an instant, his lips were pressed against hers, and his arms were wrapped around her in a tight embrace. So that’s what it’s like to be held in Taylor Denton’s arms, Maggie thought.

“Taylor, wait,” she gasped. “We can’t do this…”

In an instant he let go of her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.” He seemed distant and cold, an altogether different man from the one who had his arms around her just a moment ago. 
“No, it’s not that.” In the scant light of the parking lot Maggie could see the hurt expression on Taylor’s face and she felt her insides twinge – she could not lie to him - both of them deserved the truth. “It’s just that things are so complicated… I don’t want to interfere with your life.”

“I think it’s a bit too late for that.” Taylor shook his head. “Ever since I met you, I can’t seem to get you out of my head.”

Maggie’s knees buckled at the sound of Taylor’s words – she yearned to tell him that she felt exactly the same way about him, but to admit it out loud would be equivalent to sealing their own dooms. “Taylor… I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed spending time with you, but I don’t want to be in the way of things. I know how much the documentary means to you, and us,” she paused, unsure of how to characterize their relationship, “being involved could ruin everything. Jeffrey can be very spiteful, and I don’t want him to cancel the project because of me. If only things could have been different.” 

Instead of wasting his breath on words, Taylor scooped her into his arms again, pressing his mouth against hers. The powerful tug of his lips against hers was impossible to resist – she was, after all, only human.

“I don’t care about the project or Jeffrey,” Taylor said after he finally pulled away from her. “All I know is that I can’t be away from you, and if being with you means giving up the documentary, that’s the price that I’m willing to pay.”

Maggie was out of excuses – some vague, distant part of her kept reminding her of her resolution to say no, but the larger, dominant part of her ached to be with Taylor. 

“Do you want to go to my place?” She whispered – never in her life had she been so forward about sex, but then, she was a different person around Taylor.

“I have a better idea. Let’s go to my house instead.” 

She kissed him by way of answer.

The engine whirred and the tires screeched as Taylor steered the truck onto the road. 

The road was dark and they were going so fast that at first, Maggie feared that the car might swerve off the road, but when she saw how in control Taylor looked behind the wheel, she calmed down, trusting him completely.


**Everyone who leaves a comment on Marie’s tour page will be entered in the giveaway! Anyone who purchases their copy of On the Rim of Love  before December 24 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will receive 5 bonus entries! Five individual winners will receive a piece of jewelry shown to the right, and one bonus winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card! Please note this is open to US residents only.** Visit CLP Blog Tours for more information

Author Bio: Marie Astor is the author of contemporary romance novels This Tangled Thing Called Love, Lucky Charm, On the Rim of Love, romantic suspense, To Catch a Bad Guy, and a short story collection, A Dress in a Window. Marie is also the author of young adult fantasy adventure novel, Over the Mountain and Back.

If you would like to learn more about Marie’s writing, please stop by her website or visit her on Facebook

Books by Marie Astor:

This Tangled Thing Called Love – a contemporary romance about overcoming one’s inhibitions, learning to tango, and finding one’s true love match.

Lucky Charm – a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship.

On the Rim of Love – a contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love.

A Dress in a Window – a collection of short stories about love, coincidences, and fate.

Over the Mountain and Back – young adult fantasy adventure novel about a boy who takes his snowboard for a ride and finds himself in a magical, hidden world he never knew existed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Review: The Selection

The Selection (The Selection #1)
by Kiera Cass

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Publication: April 24th 2012 by Harper Collins USA
Format: Paperback, International, 352 pages
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
To tell the truth I picked up the book because of the cover, wondering why on earth is the girl smelling her armpits. Then I read the summary that instantly reminds me to a fanfiction I read years ago. It sounded a bit familiar with princess competing to win the heart of certain prince. I decided to give The Selection by Kiera Cass a try.

The Selection, in my opinion focused more on developing the relationship between America and Prince Maxon. Of course, there are a few scenes with the rebel attack to the palace which got me really curious. I wasn’t really fond of America. I mean she loves Aspen and was heartbroken when he broke up with her. America obviously is starting to like Prince Maxon a little bit as she gets to know him. But when Aspen showed up again into her life, she wavered. Then there’s the part where she wanted Prince Maxon to be her friend, but get really jealous when Maxon spend his time with the other candidates without her knowing. It was a bit frustrating.

If I have to compare between The Selection and that fanfiction I read years ago, I would say that the fanfiction definitely better in characterizations and plot. But still, I would read the continuation of the selection, The Elite, just to find out about the rebel attacks – what was really happening, why are they attacking the palace and what is it about the country’s history?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book Review: The Cold Wife

The Cold Wife (The Virginia Series)
by Ruth Ann Nordin

Genre: Historical Romance, Romance
Publication: February 27th 2010
Format: ebook
When Carrie Allen learns that her father has arranged a marriage between her and Justin Monroe, she knows that a pair couldn't be more mismatched. And she wants out! Justin Monroe has loved Carrie for years, so he jumps at the chance to marry her. But he's in for a surprise when she tells him the truth...and asks for an annulment. Too bad for her he's not willing to give up.

I was reading this book for fun as the synopsis sounds good. The Cold Wife began with Carrie’s father goes bankrupt and her father arranged her to be married to Justin. Justin loved Carrie for years and had no idea that Carrie was opposing the idea of marrying him. It was after the wedding that he found out that Carrie never wanted to be married to him. He vowed to win her heart after some period.

I thought The Cold Wife was an okay read. I enjoy the moments between Carrie and Justin and their banter. It was fun to watch how they learned about each other and gradually, Carrie fell for her husband.  I also enjoyed the scene between Carrie and her brother. It was funny.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Review: Unmasking Maya

Unmasking Maya
by Libby Mercer

Genre: Romance, Chick Lit
Publication: December 12th 2012
Format: ebook
Connect: Blog, Goodreads, Twitter
Defamed, Disgraced and Displaced...

Fresh from a career-killing scandal, New York fashion girl, Maya Kirkwood, arrives in San Francisco to reinvent herself as a fine artist. She's offered the opportunity to create an installation at the Silicon Valley headquarters of a hot new tech company. Fabulous, right?

Not so much.

She can't stand Derek Whitley - wunderkind software genius and CEO of the company. Hot as he may be on the outside, inside the man is a cold, unemotional, robotic type. Way too left-brained for her right-brained self.

As Maya and Derek get to know each other, however, their facades begin to crack. She catches her first glimpse of the man behind the superhuman tech prodigy, and he starts to see her as the woman she used to be. But is this a good thing? Once that last secret is revealed, will it bring them closer together or will it tear them apart?

I received an ARC of this book for free from the author to provide an honest review.

Unmasking Maya mainly focused on the relationship between Maya and Darek. I love Maya and how Libby Mercer voiced her. Maya was hiding a secret and identity of her past but she left behind her past. She held it together with her and move forward, which I really like about her. She was bright, funny and so much fun. Darek was the opposite of Maya. I thought that he sounded a bit mysterious at first. But I kinda like the mysterious side of him. It turns out that Darek was hiding a secret of his own. It was fun to read how they both get to know each other and unmasking each other. I love the conversations and interactions between Maya and other characters. 

There’s no doubt that I enjoy Unmasking Maya by Libby Mercer. However I think that Unmasking Maya is a bit too short for my liking. I think the story could be longer. There are a few things I would like to see in the book, like what happen with Maya and her father? Or perhaps more Maya and Darek’s moments/relationship progress. Because it was a tad too short and Maya and Darek are very cute together.

Overall, Unmasking Maya was a really straight forward, cute and entertaining book which I finished it within one sitting. I would recommend it to anyone who was looking for a cute, quick read.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Blog Tour: The Comrades by Lynne Sears Williams

The Comrades
by Lynne Sears Williams

Genre: Historical Romance
Publication: August 15th 2011
Format: ebook, 447 pages
9th century Wales...

Evan, king of Powys, returns from a wedding to find a village ransacked, with women and children dead. Neighboring Gwynedd has broken the peace, crossing the mountain to pillage and murder. The dead babes tear his heart, and Evan vows to break the heart of Gwynedd.

Gwynedd’s most guarded treasure is a pampered princess. In a bloody raid, Evan’s comrades return to Powys with Gwynedd’s heart. Evan knows holding the princess will be dangerous and her safe-keeping may mean the difference between the lasting peace he desires and a bloody war. He’s prepared for her to be kept safe but unprepared for the girl’s intelligence, compassion and damnably kissable mouth.

“Evan took in the vision of a scarlet gown, which barely disguised the shapely form and a river of black curls that caressed to girl’s waist. Oh, Lord. He wished he had ordered sackcloth.”

Morleyna’s secret gift of Sight reveals a cruel betrayal that sends Evan on a mystical journey where he discovers his only chance for redemption rests in the hands of his captive.

Her brothers will arrive to claim their sapphire-eyed sister. Will her kinsmen, bent on revenge, destroy Evan and his comrades? Or will destruction come from Morleyna who may be the reincarnation of someone whose beauty captivated a nation?

Purchase at Amazon – in Paperback $13.99 & Kindle Barnes and Noble in Paperback & Nook and iBooks 

You can also see the rest of the Blog Tour dates via BWR Tours

Wow! The Comrades is another book I thought I may not enjoy as I did. I’m guessing that it was because of the cover. I’m the type of person who would judge a book by its cover. But I choose to read The Comrades because the synopsis was very interesting. I was glad that I gave this book a try.

The Comrades got off with a slow start. It was a bit confusing with the introduction of many characters – Evan, Gareth, Owen and more. I had a hard time figuring out who is who at first. But it began to get less confusing once I get to know the character a lot more. But still, The Comrades had a good plot, memorable and powerful characters, sweet romance and I kinda like Lynne Sears Williams writing style. It was very relaxing and easy to follow. The dialogues and interaction between the characters are smooth.

I like Evan as a character. He’s a very kind man, in my opinion. I love the relationship between Evan and his men. The men are very loyal to Evan and together they are hilarious. I found myself grinning at most of the scene. I think the relationship between them is what I like the most in the book. I didn’t get to read lots of books with interesting relationship between the men. Well, mostly, the books I read would be focusing more on the girls’ relationship with her friends...

I like Morleyna’s character as well. She’s strong and I simply could not ignore the compassion she had towards other characters although she was kept as Evan’s hostage. The scene between Evan and Morleyna was something to look forward for. Although, I wish the author would write a little bit more on Morleyna’s gift of Sight.

I would totally recommend this book to anyone who loves historical romance a good plot with princess and gorgeous men, slow and constructing romance with bits of humor and magic.

** I receive a copy of the book from the author for review as part of the blog tour.

About the Author: Worked as a writer for Canadian and American Medical journals, afflicted with a law degree. The street where we lived had contaminated water. Only 10 houses but 4 kids have law degrees. Coincidence? Doubt it! THE COMRADES deals with love, war and law.

You can find Lynne at her Website, Twitter, and Facebook

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Black Tiger by Greta van der Rol

Black Tiger 
by Greta van der Rol 

Genre: Romance, Paranormal
Publication: 20th September 2012
Format: ebook, 228 pages
He haunts the jungle – and her dreams

When Dr. Sally Carter travels to India to regroup from a broken heart the last thing she wants is to fall in love. But Raja Asoka (Ash) Bhosle is entirely too attractive to ignore, even though she knows it can only end in tears. Hers.

Ash guards his forest and the precious creatures within it, protecting the rare tigers from mindless slaughter, and a secret that lives in legend. From the moment he sets eyes on the Australian doctor, he wants her, even over the objections of his mother and the unsuitability of her cultural heritage.

While Ash fights tiger poachers, Sally struggles against cultural prejudice. Can the Legend of the Black Tiger be the bond that brings them closer together, or will it be an impossible belief that rips them apart. The closer Sally comes to understanding what the legend means, the more frequent the nightmares become. Is she losing her sanity, or is there more to Sally than she herself knows? The answers lie buried in her past.

When the Black Tiger breaks free to stalk the night, only one thing will control the beast.

Purchase at Amazon – in Paperback $10.99 & KindleBarnes and Noble for Nook and Various e-formats at Smashwords

You can also see the rest of the Blog Tour dates via  BWR Tours

I wasn’t sure that I was going to enjoy Black Tiger by Greta van der Rol and I did. It is not the usual paranormal romance like I thought it would be. It was more than that. Black Tiger focused on the issue of tiger poaching and conservation with a little bit of paranormal romance. I thoroughly enjoy how Sally struggle to fit in with the new culture – against the social standing, religion and belief and superstitious in India. I love the adventure with Ash as struggle to stop the tiger poaching issues.

I really like Sally as the heroine. She was strong woman who would stand for what she believe in. I was glad that Greta van der Rol didn’t press on the Sally-Ash romances. Instead, the author focused more on the tiger poaching issues. Sure, Sally and Ash like each other in the first sight, but I was so glad that the author takes their relationship slowly.

I would recommend to anyone who loves reading story with a mix of paranormal, romance and more action. Furthermore, you’re supporting tiger conservation when you purchase this book because the author is donating all the profits from this book to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation! How awesome is that?

** I receive a copy of the book from the author for review as part of the blog tour.

Greta van der Rol loves writing science fiction with a large dollop of good old, healthy romance. Black Tiger is a slight departure from her usual genre, because it's contemporary and paranormal., but, like her other books, it's fast-paced and action-packed. She lives not far from the coast in Queensland, Australia and enjoys photography and cooking when she isn't bent over the computer. She has a degree in history and a background in building information systems, both of which go a long way toward helping her in her writing endeavors.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book Review: A Confusion of Princes

A Confusion of Princes
by Garth Nix

Genre: Young Adult, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Publication: May 17th 2012, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks
Format: Paperback, 337 pages
Purchase: A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
You’d think being a privileged Prince in a vast intergalactic Empire would be about as good as it gets. But it isn’t as great as it sounds. For one thing, Princes are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Khemri discovers that the moment he is proclaimed a Prince.

He also discovers mysteries within the hidden workings of the Empire. Dispatched on a secret mission, Khemri comes across the ruins of a space battle. In the midst of it all he meets a young woman named Raine, who will challenge his view of the Empire, of Princes, and of himself.
A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix is a story of Khemri’s three death and how he reflected on his three lives. It reminds me a lot to video games with its concept of multiple lives. Prince Khemri was stolen from his parents in order to become a prince. There are millions other prince like him all fighting against each other and one of them will become the Emperor.

I must admit that I didn’t really enjoy A Confusion of Princes. I think that there are too many characters and most of them weren’t completely developed. It’s kinda confusing to figure out who is who and what really happen to Khemri. I didn’t enjoy the book at the first half of the book where most of it was about Khemri and his adventure – how he went to the Navy, how he went through his mission until he met Raine. But I’m guessing that I didn’t enjoy the book because I didn’t enjoy science fiction very much. Nevertheless, A Confusion of Princes is an okay book.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book Review: HDU

by India Lee

Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Humor, Romance
Publication:  November 30th 2012
Amanda Nathan just lost everything – her first real boyfriend to her lifelong best friend, her half of their shared apartment in St. Louis and her first post-grad job as a receptionist. Forced back under her parents’ roof in Merit, Missouri, the gossipy town she’d spent her life trying to escape, Amanda has but one saving grace – being an anonymous moderator on HDU, the Internet’s largest celebrity gossip community. Unemployed and alone, Amanda relishes in the one thing she has control over – Hollywood gossip. Now, her idea of fun is getting lost in the glamorous lives of others and posting nasty rumors about her former bestie’s favorite actor, Liam Brody, a playboy notorious for dumping his model girlfriends on a monthly basis.

So who would’ve thought that Liam Brody would be Amanda’s answer to escaping Merit? When the controversial womanizer needs an image boost to land a new role, he turns to none other than HDU for some good press. As it turns out, Liam is as eager to shed his playboy image as Amanda is desperate to move out of Merit. The solution to both problems? Fake a romance in which Hollywood’s biggest playboy falls for an unknown, sweet and shockingly plain Jane.

With the help of Ian, a fellow HDU moderator and self-developed expert on stardom, Amanda packs her bags for her new life in New York, where the overnight fame and glamour of being a celebrity girlfriend awaits. But Amanda soon discovers that their little ploy is a lot more emotionally complicated than she imagined. And while she finds that life works a thousand times better in her Hollywood circle, so does manipulation.

I received an advance copy of this book from the author to provide an honest review. 

HDU is the kind of book which I wouldn’t pick up if I were to judge it by its cover or title. I mean, I wouldn’t know what HDU means or what the book is all about, judging from both. But, HDU is also one of the books where I would say, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, because the story is absolutely interesting.

The main character, Amanda Nathan has lost it all when she found out that her boyfriend cheated with her best friend and she had to return home to the small town of Merit, Missouri. She moderates the Internet’s celebrity gossip community called HDU, or ‘How Dare You?!’ for distraction and posted some rumors about her ex-best friend favorite actor, Liam Brody, the famous playboy. So, who would have thought that Liam Brody would contact her for an image boost in HDU? So, they both formed a contract where Amanda used this chance to get out from her hometown and headed to New York together with her new best friend, Ian Marsh, who was also a moderator from HDU.

I really like Amanda. She’s humble, kind, loyal to her friends and the kind of girl who would fight for herself. India Lee’s writing style was fluid and entertaining. It makes me totally absorbed into Amanda’s glamorous world. I found myself rooting for her happiness and success. What I really like about Amanda was she could adjust herself into the glamor world because she’s a moderator for the celebrity gossip community. She knows what she’s doing and how some of her decision could affect her life.

I love Amanda and Liam as a couple (or a fake couple). They are cute and funny together. I even caught myself laughing out loud a few times. My only complaint was that their relationship was a bit fast forward. I wish they spend more times to get to know each other before they start to like each other – that moment when Amanda’s opinion of Liam starts to change. After all, Amanda was never a fan of Liam even before they met.

In the end, I found myself falling in love with the characters and India Lee’s writing style. And HDU simply made it into one of my favorite books. I can’t wait to read the sequel to HDU. I would totally recommend HDU to anyone who prefers chick lit with a bit of glamorous world, friendship, romance and lots of funny moments.


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