Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year! 2012 Book Recap

Happy New Year, everyone!!! I hope you enjoyed your last night of 2012 and that you were safe and sound.

2012 was a very interesting year for me in my personal life and it was also the year that I started blogging. I am super happy to have found a new hobby and I could not be more than thankful for Wendy at Wall-to-Wall Books for helping me get started. I also want to thank all of my wonderful followers for helping me make my blogging experience super fun. You guys are awesome!!!

Book and Movie Review: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Synopsis: I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"--and the heart of the reader--in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.

December & Rak Wrap-Up 2012

Hello all! I did pretty well this last month of the year even though I felt like I slacked off a lot.

These are the reads I got to finish:

1. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
2. Vamps in the City by Kerrelyn Sparks
3. Aurora Sky by Nikki Jefford
4. Be Still My Vampire Heart by Kerrelyn Sparks
5. Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas
6. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
7. Heal My Heart, Lord by Emilie Barns
8. Red Glass by Laura Resau
9. Every Day by David Levithan
10. I Capture the Castle by Doddie Smith
11. The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans
12.  UnStrung by Neal Shusterman
13. "The Terrible Old Man" by H.P. Lovecraft
14. "The Tree" by H.P. Lovecraft
15. "The Cats of Ulthar" by H.P. Lovecraft
16. "The Temple" by H.P. Lovecraft

Last Minute Reading Read-a-thon Wrap Up!!!

The First Annual Last Minute Reading Read-a-thon has been completed! Thank you so much for all who participated. This would not have been fun without you. Not only did this read-a-thon push me to keep reading (even though I kept getting distracted) but it was super fun to see you guys working on it as well.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 in 12 Sentences

I borrowed this neat idea from what if this is as good as it gets ( capitals, lol). The idea is to sum up 2012 by each month with 12 sentences.

Here are my sentences:

January: Began the year by detoxing my body, which I failed miserably.

H.P. Lovecraft Sundays #14

Sunday is here and it's time for another short story review from H.P. Lovecraft!

"The Temple"
4 stars

Image by David Saavedra

Last Minute Reading Update: Day 4

Day 4

It was a rainy day here in Southern California. It put me in the mood to be lazy. I stayed in my pjs all day, was wrapped in a blanket, drank some hot tea, saw Practical Magic and Pride & Prejudice on tv, and I got some reading done!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Know Me Better" #3

"Know Me Better" is a Weekly Meme hosted by I'm A Reader, Not A Writer. Each week she'll pick 5 questions off of her author's interview list to answer and invites us to join in on the fun. This gives us the chance to get to know each other better.

This Week's Questions:

Last Minute Reading Update: Day 2 & 3

I am not so happy with myself right now. I am getting too distracted and I'm not doing as much reading as I wanted. This is what I did these past two days:

Review: Heal My Heart, Lord by Emilie Barnes

Synopsis: Brimming with optimism and trust, Heal My Heart, Lord pours out a message of hope and assures women they can bring their needs to God and He will provide. Bestselling author Emilie Barnes leads women to quietness and peace through heartwarming chapters that focus on God’s remedies for difficult situations and offer words of encouragement to everyone facing difficult times.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Hops, Dec. 28th

Follow Friday is a feature created by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a fun blog hop where you meet other book bloggers and find people to follow. It's also another great way to earn new followers.

This week's question:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Last Minute Reading Update: Day 1

The first day of the read-a-thon has gone by! I'm happy to say that I got some reading done even though I had family over and I had to work in the evening.

Here's how I did for the first day:

Finished- Battle Royale by Koushun Takami (I only needed 100 pages to finish). It was an awesome book. Not for everyone since it's very violent and graphic. I also watched the movie and wrote a review.

Finished- UnStrung by Neal Shusterman. This was a novella from the UnWind series. It was good but too short. Here's my review.

How did you guys do?
Don't forget about the giveaway!

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It's not too late to join!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Review: UnStrung by Neal Shusterman

Synopsis: How did Lev Calder move from an unwillingly escaped Tithe to a clapper? In this revealing short story, Neal Shusterman opens a window on Lev’s adventures between the time he left CyFi and showed up at the Graveyard.

Pulling elements from Neal Shusterman’s critically acclaimed Unwind and giving hints about what is to come in the riveting sequel, UnWholly, this short story is not to be missed.

Movie Review: Les Miserables (2012)

Went to see this movie yesterday and I loved it. I've always wanted to see the musical live but never gotten the chance to, so I was pretty excited when I learned that it was turned into a film.

Book & MovieReview: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Synopsis: Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing. If they break the rules a special collar blows their heads off. Koushun Takami's brutal, high-octane thriller is told in breathless. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan--where it then proceeded to become a runaway bestseller--Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Last Minute Reading: Read-a-thon Kick Off!

Merry Christmas to all of my fellow blogger followers and a very happy day to those that don't celebrate!

The Last Minute Reading: Read-a-thon will begin tomorrow. This is the kick-off link so there is still time to sign-up.

This read-a-thon is to encourage those who are trying to reach their year's reading goals in the last minute, knock off some of their TBR books, and/or simply want to have fun by challenging themselves to some good reading before the year ends.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Audiobook Review: Red Glass by Laura Resau

Read by Emma Bering

Synopsis: One night Sophie and her parents are called to a hospital where Pedro, a six-year-old Mexican boy, is recovering from dehydration. Crossing the border into Arizona with a group of Mexicans and a coyote, or guide, Pedro and his parents faced such harsh conditions that the boy is the only survivor. Pedro comes to live with Sophie, her parents, and Sophie's Aunt Dika, a refugee of the war in Bosnia. Sophie loves Pedro—her Principito, or Little Prince. But after a year, Pedro’s surviving family in Mexico makes contact, and Sophie, Dika, Dika’s new boyfriend, and his son must travel with Pedro to his hometown so that he can make a heartwrenching decision.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

I am taking the time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoy your holiday with your family and friends. Eat lots of great food and laugh lots!

Oh, and I hope you get lots of new books!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Know Me Better #2

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. Each week she posts 5 questions from her author's interview list and now asks her fellow bloggers. So let's get to know each other better!

This Week's Questions:
Do you like the spotlight or lurking in the shadows?
It all depends on the situation. Usually I like to lurk in the shadows but there have been times when I found myself liking the spotlight. I get embarassed when I get praised in front of many at work but yet my "ego" rises when I get lots of applause and praises after a performance.

H.P. Lovecraft Sundays #13

With so many readings that I need to do, I only got to read on story from the H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction. Here's my review:

The Cats of Ulthar
4 stars

Image by Jason Thompson
"It is said that in Ulthar, which lies beyond the river Skai, no man may kill a cat; and this I can verily believe as I gaze upon him who sitteth purring before the fire."

In Ulthar, cats have become very sacred. The cat is known for doing strange things and is the bearer of many secrets since it is older than the Sphinx. How did the cat become so sacred in this town?

Silent Night Read-a-thon Wrap-Up!

The Silent Night Read-A-Thon was hosted by Svea at The Muse in the Fog Book Review and it was very challenging but fun. There were too many distractions going on for me this week and I was only able to find time to read in between going to places and late at night. Even though I was busy, I did push myself to get books read and I did!

These are the books I completed for this read-a-thon:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Review: Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas

One rain-slicked night, six-year-old Holly lost the only parent she knew, her beloved mother Victoria. And since that night, she has never again spoken a word.

The last thing Mark Nolan needs is a six-year-old girl in his life. But he soon realizes that he will do everything he can to make her life whole again. His sister’s will gives him the instructions: There’s no other choice but you. Just start by loving her. The rest will follow.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Hops, December 21st!

It's the end of the world!!!! Wait...I'm still here...Does that mean I still have to pay my bills? :/

Well, let's do some Friday hops!

Follow Friday is a feature created by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a fun blog hop where you meet other book bloggers and find people to follow. It's also another great way to earn new followers.

This week's question:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Silent Night Read-a-thon Day 4 and 5

The Silent Night Read-A-Thon is hosted by Svea at The Muse in the Fog Book Review .
Day 4
Finished listening to Every Day by David Levithan (8 hours and 25 minutes). This was a great and unique story of a body snatcher and the presentation of the audio was done very well. Check out my review to read about my thoughts.

Began to read The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans.

Review: The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans

Synopsis: When real estate mogul James Kier is mistaken for another by the same name, he learns firsthand what the world really things of him, and decides to change his future.

My thoughts: This was a twist of the timeless story, A Christmas Carol. It is an easy read and it was hard to put down. The Christmas List is also an inspirational story.

James Kier is a very powerful and rich real estate mongul who does not care about anybody other than himself. He has hurt many people including the people he loves the most. He soon has a change of heart when he sees his obituary and the cruel comments made by people about him. Like Scrooge, James has a change of heart and rediscovers who he really is and what realizes what's really important in life.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Audiobook Review: Every Day by David Levithan

Read by Alex McKenna

Synopsis: Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Teaser Tuesday #24

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Silent Night Read-a-thon Day 2 and 3

The Silent Night Read-A-Thon is hosted by Svea at The Muse in the Fog Book Review .

Day 2

I expected to get a lot of reading done but that did not really happened. I woke up late, had a late breakfast outing with the family, and then we went to go see The Hobbit (good movie by the way).

Monday, December 17, 2012

Book-to-Movie Review: The Hobbit

Yesterday, I went to see The Hobbit with my family. My family and I have been expecting this movie for years so we were pretty excited when we went to the theater. At the same time, we were nervous about the film's technology not knowing how our bodies will take it. The theater that we went to only offered the 2D and 3D versions but both in 48 fps.

Review: Be Still My Vampire Heart by Kerrelyn Sparks


Synopsis: If it was still beating. Angus MacKay has been undead for almost five hundred years and it's not often something, or someone, surprises him. Until Emma Wallace. The sight of this luscious agent from the CIA's elite Stake-Out team was enough to stop Angus in his tracks. But then he discovers that she's a vampire slayer, intent on killing the "monsters" who killed her parents. And it's Angus's job to stop her.

The only good vampire is a dead vampire. It's been Emma's motto since she committed her life to the destruction of these things. Now Angus MacKay wants to convince her differently.

Sure, he's a sexy Highland warrior who seems to have stepped off the cover of a romance novel, complete with brogue, kilt, and sword, but he's also one of them. And it's her job to kill him.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Know Me Better 1

This is a weekly meme hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. This is the first time I participate.

Holiday Edition!
Red or Green?
Both! I do tend to wear more red during the holidays but I also love the color green. I look good in both colors, which is why I like both of them :)

Favorite Christmas Carol?
Hmmm...I like many Christmas songs but my favorite is a song in Spanish called Los peces en el rio, especially sung by the group called Pandora.

Silent Night Read-a-thon: Day 1

This wonderful read-a-thon is hosted by The Muse in the Fog Book Review.

Okay...Day 1 was a slow start for me but I already expected it to be since this weekend is full of events. Saturday I had belly dance practice in the morning, a staff Christmas party to go to, and a get together with my best friend for some drinks and dancing for a mini celebration.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Silent Night Read-a-thon!

The 1st Annual Silent Night Read-A-Thon hosted by Svea @ The Muse in the Fog Book Review is here!

I've been super busy these past two weeks with work. Today, we are finally on winter break and I can relax and get back to reading. Now I need to push myself to get some books read.

Here's what I hope to finish by the 22nd:

Friday Hops, Dec. 14th

Follow Friday is a feature created by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It's a fun blog hop where you meet other book bloggers and find people to follow. It's also another great way to earn new followers.

This week's question:

What is the last book that made you cry? Tell us about the scene...

Well, the last book that brought tears to my eyes was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was sad to see many of the loved characters start to die and it was really sad knowing that it was the last book in the series.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #23


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:
"Good heavens. Angus MacKay was hanging upside down with the hem of his kilt dangling around his neck."

Page 53 in Be Still My Vampire Heart by Kerrelyn Sparks

Though the cover seems sexy and mysterious, this book is making me roar with laughter! I am falling in love with the characters, especially the kilted warrior Angus.

What's your teaser?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

H.P. Lovecraft Sundays #12

It's still Sunday over here in California and I still have time to share my H.P. Lovecraft readings :). Today, I mean, tonight I bring you two stories:

Image by Jason Thompson
"The Terrible Old Man"
3 stars

In a really big house in Water Street, there lives a very old man by himself who is very rich and feeble. This man has been very old for many years that no one in the town remembers him ever being young. He is left alone since he is pretty terrible.

Thinking that this old man is the perfect target, Ricci, Czaner, and Silva decide to rob the old man's treasure. They think that it will be very easy. So Ricci and Silva go in while Czaner waits in the car for them. The two men never come back.

This tale was very short but interesting. The old man is described talking to bottles that have pendelums inside, which respond to his talking. This act alone sounded very suspicious and sinister that the ending didn't shock me as much. The old man is a character that would be amazing if it were developed more.

Review: Aurora Sky by Nikki Jefford

Title: Aurora Sky
Author: Nikki Jefford
Publication Date: November 27, 2012
Synopsis: If there is one thing eighteen-year-old Aurora Sky wants, it's to get off the iceberg she calls home. Being kissed before she graduates wouldn't hurt either.

Then a near-fatal car wreck changes everything. Government agents step in and save Aurora's life in exchange for her services as a vampire hunter. In Alaska. Basically she's a glorified chew toy. All thanks to her rare blood type, which sends a vampire into temporary paralysis before she has to finish the hand.

Now Aurora's only friends are groupies of the undead and the only boy she can think about may very well be a vampire. And if he's a vampire, will she be forced to kill him?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bloody Christmas E-book Giveaway

As any true fanged fan knows, vampires are always in season. Enter to win four paranormal sensations and put a splash of red into your holidays. Action, adventure, romance, and entirely new twists on the vampire genre.

One winner will receive all four e-books pictured here. Winner may substitute any of these titles for another by the same author within the same series.

First Time Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway

Tour Schedule

First Time: The Legend of Garison Fitch

"What if history didn't happen that way ... the first time?"

Garison Fitch was one of the most revered scientists in the Soviet Americas until he left fame behind to work on a secret project in his log cabin in the mountains of Marx.

But something went wrong. Instead of traveling interdimentionally, Garison has traveled through time ... twice.

Now, he's in something called "The United States of America" and a woman he's never met before is calling herself his wife. It it a hoax? Or, has he somehow changed history?

If so, can he return the world to what he believes is "normal", or must he live in this strange world he created?

Review: Vamps and the City by Kerrelyn Sparks

Who says a vamp can't have it all?

Darcy Newhart thought it was a stroke of genius—the first–ever reality TV show where mortals vie with vampires for the title of The Sexiest Man on Earth. As the show's director, Darcy's career would be on track again. And she can finally have a life apart from the vampire harem. Okay, so she's still technically dead, but two out of three's not bad. Now she just has to make sure that a mortal doesn't win. If only she wasn't so distracted by a super–sexy and live contestant named Austin...

But Darcy doesn't know the worst of it. Austin Erickson is actually a vampire slayer! And he's got his eye on the show's leggy blond director. Only problem is, he's never wanted any woman—living or dead—as badly. But if he wins her heart, will he lose his soul? And if it means an eternity of hot, passionate loving with Darcy, does that really matter anyway?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

After Dark Book Blast & $50 Amazon GC Giveaway

After Dark (Book One of the 19th Year)
By Emi Gayle

What eighteen year old Mac Thorne doesn’t know will probably kill her.

In exactly eight months, five days, three hours and thirteen minutes, Mac has to choose what she’ll be for the rest of her life.

She has no choice but to pick. As a Changeling, it’s her birthright. To Mac, it’s a birthchore. Like going to school with humans, interacting with humans, and pretending to be human during the pesky daylight hours.

Once darkness descends, Mac can change into any supernatural form that exists—which makes her as happy as she can be. That is, until Winn Thomas, the biggest geek in her senior class figures out there’s more to what hides in the dark than most are willing to acknowledge.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Lover's Holiday Giveaway Hop 2012

This wonderful holiday hop is hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Chapter by Chapter.

What am I giving away? Well, a signed copy of Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore and some signed swag from Nikki Jefford.